If you’re one of the countless AT&T subscribers who’s gotten stuck with limited data plans, you’re not alone. In the last several months, the FTC has launched a class-action lawsuit against the telecom company, alleging that it violated the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) rules governing common carriers. The agency argues that its jurisdiction is limited and it can’t regulate common carriers. Despite this assertion, the agency still has the authority to regulate AT&T because it’s an independent government agency.
In response to the FTC’s lawsuit, AT&T has agreed to pay up to $60 million to resolve the issues.
The agency claims that AT&T advertised its unlimited data plans, but then throttled customers’ usage if they exceeded the limit. As a result, it is barred from marketing plans based on data or speed, which would snare consumers. Fortunately, the company is not liable for the loss of millions of dollars in revenue.
The FTC says the AT&T unlimited data plan constituted an unfair trade practice that was detrimental to consumers. In November 2011, AT&T began slowing the speeds of its unlimited data plan users. As of October 2014, more than 3.5 million customers were affected by AT&T’s throttling practices. The company tried to challenge the FTC’s jurisdiction over the case, but the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the consumers.
The settlement also provides that AT&T will pay $60 million to settle the class action.
As a result of the settlement, the company will have to refund its customers partially for the data that they were unable to use. This fund will also be used to reimburse consumers who had overused their data plans. The company has also been barred from marketing its unlimited data plans based on speed and usage. This is a major win for AT&T.
The FTC found that AT&T misled consumers when it advertised unlimited data plans. Those who didn’t know about these limitations were unable to find a suitable plan. The regulated industry has a long history of ignoring class action claims, and the FTC will make sure it doesn’t happen again. However, consumers will still have to pay. A $60 million settlement is an incredible result for the industry.
In addition to the full payment, AT&T has offered a second option.
While the plaintiffs have already gotten a large payment, the company has not yet paid the full amount. The settlement amount is also based on the customer’s ID number, which starts with “A”. In other words, customers who don’t have an A-type personal ID number can still receive a smaller payment. This doesn’t mean they have no choice but to settle.
While AT&T has paid $60 million to settle the class-action lawsuit, the company can’t be expected to pay much more. The settlement funds will be used to compensate customers who were swindled by the telecom giant. Despite these findings, the settlement could have even been bigger, with AT&T paying half of its costs in court. It also will prevent the company from advertising the same type of plans based on speed and data.
The class action against AT&T is over the company’s misleading practices and policies.
It has also been found that the company was not liable for any indirect, consequential, or punitive damages. The fine was $28 million, but it’s still not enough to compensate affected customers. They’re still owed a portion of the $15 million. If this is the case, then AT&T has been obligated to pay more than they owe.
If you’re an AT&T customer, you can file a class-action lawsuit against the company for unfair behavior. The deadline to file a claim is AUGUST 13, 2021. If you’ve purchased unlimited data service from AT&T, you may qualify for a settlement. The money will be used to compensate customers with their limited data. The lawsuits will ultimately lead to a better future for consumers.