The Federal Trade Commission has filed a product liability lawsuit against AT&T mobile services over reducing data speeds for unlimited data contract holders. The lawsuit claims that AT&T ‘throttled’ data speeds after a certain amount of data use was reached, causing processing times for web browsing, GPS navigation, and streaming video to slow down significantly, sometimes cutting the processing times up to 90% of what they were supposed to be. The complaint states that AT&T failed to notify its customers of the reduced data speeds, and charged them hundreds of dollars if they tried to terminate the contract. It claims that the company used deceptive business practices, and violated the FTC Act by changing the terms of service for unlimited data customers while still under contract, and failing to notify them of the changes. “AT&T promised its customers ‘unlimited’ data, and in many instances, it has failed to deliver on that promise,” FTC Chairwoman, Edith Ramirez stated. “The issue here is simple: ‘unlimited’ means unlimited.” The company started throttling data in 2011 for unlimited data plan contract holders after using only 2 gigabytes of data in a billing period, affecting about 3.5 million customers.
The Federal Trade Commission has also reached a $105 million settlement with AT&T for ‘cramming’ charges. Starting in 2009, the mobile company began charging customers for third party subscriptions they never ordered or authorized, without making them aware they were paying the charges. The charges, often for seemingly random text messages that offered horoscopes, dating tips, celebrity gossip, wallpaper, and ringtones, were lumped together under an AT&T label on billing statements, making them seem like part of AT&T’s services, which made them hard to detect, even among the most meticulous customers. The FTC is now offering refunds for customers affected by ‘cramming’ charges. To claim your refund, go to FTC.gov/att and click on the ‘apply for a refund’ button. Refund claims need to be filed by May 1, 2015, and can take up to 9 months to be processed.
If you or someone you know have fallen victim to fraudulent and deceptive business practices by a company like AT&T, and require monetary compensation for your losses, the lawyers at Hodes Milman Liebeck are there for you in your time of need. Contact us today online at hmlm.com or call 866-730-1976 for a complimentary case evaluation.