AT&T contracted to settle US$ 60 million allegations that misinformed more than 3.5 Mn customers by demanding customers for the “unlimited” data plan while reducing data when it used more than a certain amount of speed. The settlement announced on Tuesday resolved the 2014 lawsuit with the Federal Trade Commission.
According to the US Federal Trade Commission, CNN’s parent company, AT&T (T), began to throttle or slow down for customers with unlimited data plans in 2011. According to the FTC, this approach makes it difficult to browse the web or perform other functions, and in some cases, the data speed is reduced by nearly 90%. FTC said in today’s press release that the throttling is said to have started after the customer used only 2 GB of data in a billing cycle. The AT&T spokesperson said in a statement to CNN Business: “Although this network management tool has been applied in the manner described by the FTC for several years, we believe it is in the best interests of consumers.” The complaint alleged that the settlement fund would be used to deal with refunds to customers who are affected and signed an unlimited plan by 2011. Customers do not need to file a claim to receive money. The current customer will receive a credit line on the bill, and the previous customer will receive the check.
In 2015, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) penalized AT&T Inc. for US$ 100 million because similar allegations misled the “unlimited” plan. FCC found that AT&T Unlimited Data Plan customers will reduce speed after using more than a certain amount of data per billing cycle. Under the new settlement agreement, AT&T will not be able to file claims for the speed or quantity of mobile data (including “unlimited”) without revealing the restrictions. According to the settlement agreement, any such disclosure must be placed in a prominent position, rather than hidden in beautiful prints or hyperlinks. However, Verizon allegedly killed the Northern California Fire Department in 2018 because its firefighters battled the largest wildfire in state history. This issue was mentioned in a network neutrality lawsuit filed by several states in 2018. At the time, Verizon admitted to making a mistake and said that he would “solve all future problems.”