The Federal Trade Commission has announced that AT&T will pay a fine of $60 million after it was accused of misleading the customers with its unlimited data plans which throttled data speeds after a certain data limit was breached. The FTC has also mentioned that the $60 million will be allocated to a fund which will then be used to issue partial refunds to customers who signed up for the carrier’s unlimited data plans before 2011. This is when the company first started throttling speeds of its unlimited data subscribers.
“AT&T promised unlimited data—without qualification—and failed to deliver on that promise,” said Andrew Smith, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. “While it seems obvious, it bears repeating that Internet providers must tell people about any restrictions on the speed or amount of data promised. ”
AT&T has been asked to find out all the customers who are eligible for a refund within 30 days. Thankfully, affected customers don’t have to do much as the refund will be initiated automatically if they’re eligible under the criteria mentioned above. The carrier will have a period of 90 days to issue a refund to its customers.
Speaking to The Verge, an AT&T spokesperson said – “Even though it has been years since we applied this network management tool in the way described by the FTC, we believe this is in the best interests of consumers.”
Although $60 million will likely be a small figure for a giant corporation like AT&T, the fact that the FTC has managed to impose this fine, as well as a partial refund, is indeed welcome news for customers. AT&T has been asked to list all the restrictions as well as speed limits while marketing its unlimited plans in the future.
What do you make of this settlement?
Via: The Verge