AT&T fined $60 million for throttling ‘unlimited’ data plans
Yesterday, Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has fined AT&T $60 million dollars. The case alleged that the company lied to customers about its unlimited data plans because it throttled data if the customers went over a certain threshold.
The settlement requires AT&T to deposit that $60 million into a fund that will be used to provide partial refunds to customers who signed up for unlimited data plans before the year 2011. This is when the company’s throttling policy went into effect first.
The settlement resolves a 2014 lawsuit filed by the agency alleging that AT&T misled consumers over its data plans and how much data they would be allotted each month before having their access slowed down. Former FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez back in 2014, “AT&T promised its customers ‘unlimited’ data, and in many instances, it has failed to deliver on that promise. The issue here is simple: ‘unlimited’ means unlimited.”
This is not the first time AT&T has been fined for such tactics. In the summer of 2015, the Federal Communications Commission fined AT&T $100 million for similar deceptive marketing practices involving its data plans. According to the FCC, the agency received thousands of consumer complaints that led them to investigate the throttling allegations.