A $12 million proposed settlement has been reached in a class action lawsuit that alleged AT&T customers with unlimited data plans were subject to data throttling.
Lead plaintiff Marcus A. Roberts filed his class action lawsuit in July 2015, claiming AT&T “lured consumers into purchasing smartphones, wireless data cards and mobile service plans by aggressively promoting ‘unlimited’ data service plans.”
However, Roberts argued, the company did not disclose its practice of data throttling — intentionally slowing down the data speed on cellphones and wireless cards when the customer was approaching or had exceeded AT&T’s internal limits on data usage.
According to Roberts, the data throttling affected consumers’ ability to access data and services, such as using the internet and other wireless functions on their phones, until the end of the billing cycle, “thus unreasonably interfering with the supposedly ‘unlimited’ service that the consumers paid for.”
AT&T’s alleged conduct and misrepresentations caused the proposed Class to suffer damages because they paid for services that weren’t as advertised.
The proposed settlement defines the Class as all California consumers who purchased an AT&T Mobility unlimited data plan and who, on or before the preliminary approval date of the settlement, exceeded the company’s data usage threshold for any user on the account during one or more monthly billing cycles “such that the user would have been eligible for data usage slowing or deprioritization by AT&T in those billing cycles under AT&T’s network management policies.” California residence will be based on the last known billing address for the account holder.
The approximately 750,000 Class Member accounts that exceeded the data threshold before AT&T adopted Congestion Aware Throttling will receive automatic payments without the need to file a claim, according to the proposed settlement.
A second group that exceeded the data threshold after AT&T adopted Congestion Aware Throttling will need to file a claim form by mail or online in order to receive a payment.
Current AT&T customers who are Class Members will receive their payment as an automatic credit on their AT&T account. Payments to former customers will be sent via mail.
Do you have an unlimited data plan with AT&T? Do you suspect data throttling? Let us know in the comment section below.
The plaintiffs are represented by Michael W. Sobol and Roger N. Heller of Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein LLP.
The AT&T Data Throttling Class Action Lawsuit is Marcus A. Roberts, et al. v. AT&T Mobility LLC, Case No. 3:15-cv-03418-EMC, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, San Francisco Division.
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