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iPhone User Wins Throttling Suit Against AT&T

Court order AT&T to pay $850 for throttling user’s data connection.

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iPhone User Wins Throttling Suit Against AT&T
[ Technology]

Earlier this month we reported that AT&T was throttling the data connections of customers who still had the old unlimited data plan and used more than 2 gigabytes of data per month. The practice struck many as unfair, since users who were paying for unlimited data were not only getting their connection throttled, but were actually getting less data usage than those who were paying less money per month for AT&T’s 3GB data plan.

Earlier this week, we reported that some users were seeing their throttled data connections return to normal. Discussion forum posts suggested that AT&T might be relaxing its chokehold on the data connections of the top 5% of data users who it apparently saw as a threat to the company’s network. As part of that article I sent an email to AT&T requesting comment. Though AT&T had not replied by the time the story ran, a representative did get back to me later that evening. His response, however, was to decline to comment.

Now it seems that there may have been something behind the relaxation of data throttling. It seems a court in California has just ruled against AT&T. When Matt Spaccarelli found that his unlimited data connection was being throttled after 1.5-2GB of data traffic, he took AT&T to small claims court. The Ventura Superior Court found that AT&T had wronged Spaccarelli by selling him an “unlimited” data plan and then not delivering. The court awarded him $850.

There is no word on what AT&T’s response to this ruling will be. I sent AT&T another request for comment and asked whether AT&T would continue to throttle data connections for users paying for unlimited plans. As of now there has been no response.

iPhone User Wins Throttling Suit Against AT&T


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  • Tino Nunez

    AT&T is still at it. I live in Ca and have the same grandfathered in Unlimited Data plan. Imagine my surprise to wake up to a throttling text from AT&T this morning that if I go over 3gb during my next bill cycle I will be throttled. I will be contacting the company and if I find I’m throttled I will follow the same action Spaccerelli did.

  • William

    This is an avenue of recourse I had not considered. I too have an unlimited data plan and have received notice via text that they will “may” slow down my data speed/throttle me. I will take the same action if they do. I should also mention that the message told me to connect to a wifi to reduce my data usage. So, essentially they are telling me to use my employers connection, something that is paid for by someone other than AT&T to use the phone with capabilities that AT&T would not sell me without a data plan. Bring it on AT&T!

  • Karen

    I just had it done to me. First I got a nasty lil text.
    Here is the text from AT&T:
    ATT Free Msg: Your data usage is near 3GB this month. Exceeding 3GB during this or future billing cycles will result in reduced data speeds, though you’ll still be able to email & surf the web. Wi-Fi helps you avoid reduced speeds. Visit www.att.com/datainfo or call 866-344-7584 for more intext
    ~end of text.
    We pay for unlimited data. However this was sent 3 days before the end of our billing cycle. I also use speed test. I have my speeds before and after they turned my speed down.
    Your results are attached to this email in CSV format.

    Ookla operates Speedtest.net using a massive global infrastructure to minimize the impact of Internet congestion and latency. With millions of tests performed every day across hundreds of servers.

    Date,ConnType,Lat,Lon,Download,Upload,Latency,ServerName,InternalIp,ExternalIp
    “2012-05-11 03:56″,”Hspa”,”36.83053″,”-94.40660″,5584,784,99,”Springfield, MO”,”10.77.151.106″,”166.137.140.160″
    “2012-05-11 03:56″,”Hspa”,”36.83053″,”-94.40660″,5450,736,119,”Springfield, MO”,”10.77.151.106″,”166.137.140.160″
    “2012-05-10 12:09″,”Hsdpa”,”36.83053″,”-94.40660″,277,78,210,”Overland Park, KS”,”10.38.242.186″,”166.137.141.105″
    “2012-05-10 12:07″,”Hsdpa”,”36.83053″,”-94.40660″,304,78,196,”Overland Park, KS”,”10.38.242.186″,”166.137.141.105″
    “2012-05-10 01:39″,”Hspa”,”36.83194″,”-94.40464″,331,2295,97,”Springfield, MO”,”10.20.36.23″,”166.137.141.60″
    “2012-05-10 01:39″,”Hspa”,”36.83194″,”-94.40464″,314,1737,87,”Springfield, MO”,”10.20.36.23″,”166.137.141.60″
    “2012-05-10 01:38″,”Hspa”,”36.83194″,”-94.40464″,243,974,841,”Springfield, MO”,”10.20.36.23″,”166.137.141.60″
    “2012-05-10 01:37″,”Hspa”,”36.83194″,”-94.40464″,314,1997,88,”Springfield, MO”,”10.20.36.23″,”166.137.141.60″
    “2012-05-09 11:52″,”Hspa”,”36.83053″,”-94.40660″,5821,1150,105,”Springfield, MO”,”10.92.173.223, 10.6.49.39″,”166.137.141.238″
    “2012-05-07 20:14″,”Hspa”,”36.83053″,”-94.40671″,4936,886,107,”Vernon Hills, IL”,”10.6.49.39″,”166.137.141.238″
    “2012-05-07 20:13″,”Hspa”,”36.83053″,”-94.40671″,4373,611,85,”Vernon Hills, IL”,”10.6.49.39″,”166.137.141.238″

    At the top it basically tells you how to read that and the order to read it in. Lets make it easier. I had download speed around 5k and was refused 238- 300. Yeah worse than dial up. And this evening before it reset no internet. I would love to Sue their cables off. Any lawyers willing to take the case let me know, you can have 1/3 of the winnings. I definitely have the proof. What irks me most is they sent a text telling me they were planning on it. I actually called the number and had her pull my account. I made her look n check and make sure I have unlimited data. She replied yes I do. I said well I got this text telling I don’t. So she explains MY speed will be reduced by I will still have unlimited data connection?? Then she suggests I reduce my usage by making use of wi-fi spots. I told her no I pay for unlimited because I do NOT want to watch my usage or be concerned or stressed over it. I do not pay for almost unlimited, or near unlimited. I pay for UNLIMITED DATA and that is the service I expect to receive. I am very upset over this. I will be demanding an explanation from AT&T in the morning. I think I will record this one. Serious about during them.

  • Karen

    AT&T is trying to make unlimited data customers so unhappy they will break their contract and go somewhere else. Relieving themselves of the burden of complying to a contract AT&T created and a completely unlimited, unfettered data plan. I will be compensated for this harrassment.

  • Steve

    Been a AT&T users for over 5 years and now being throttled. I’m taking ATT to court to refund my full contract plus the iPhone cost. It’s either that or stop throttling my line. They are going to pay where it hurts. Only fighting back will stop this corporate greed! I’m so tired of big business taking advantage of the people of the USA. It’s time to stand our ground and invest into our cause. Everyone needs to break out of there safe little bubbles and act!

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