When does “unlimited” not really mean “unlimited”?
The Federal Trade Commission and AT&T may be headed to court to figure that out. The FTC filed a lawsuit Tuesday claiming that “the company has misled millions of its smartphone customers by charging them for ‘unlimited’ data plans while reducing their data speeds, in some cases by nearly 90 percent.”
The FTC’s complaint alleges that AT&T has throttled data speeds for at least 3.5 million customers more than 25 million times. Of particular note is AT&T’s marketing materials, which emphasized that customers who signed up for “unlimited” plans would get all the data they wanted.
From the FTC press release:
The complaint alleges that, even as unlimited plan consumers renewed their contracts, the company still failed to inform them of the throttling program. When customers canceled their contracts after being throttled, AT&T charged those customers early termination fees, which typically amount to hundreds of dollars.