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AT&T to pay out $850. for throttling unlimited data user:

Discussion in 'AT&T Wireless Forum' started by Eileen89, Feb 24, 2012.

  1. Eileen89

    Eileen89 Bronze Senior Member
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    In a decision that will inevitably lead to similar cases in the future, Associated Press reported a judge in California awarded an iPhone user $850 in a small claims case filed against AT&T that found the carrier guilty of throttling data speeds on the iPhone 4′s unlimited data plan. According to the iPhone user, who was grandfathered in to the unlimited data plan, his data was throttled after reaching between 1.5GB to 2GB of data in any given billing cycle:

    Full story here: If AT&T throttles you, are you entitled to $850? | 9to5Mac | Apple Intelligence


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  2. Eileen89

    Eileen89 Bronze Senior Member
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    Is this really a good thing for unlimited data users? Or will it give AT&T the final push that they needed to discontinue all grandfathered unlimited data plans? .... Either way it's definetlly a win for the this lucky guy who was being throttled by AT&T even though he was on a unlimited data plan.
     
  3. Shizam76

    Shizam76 Shizam! Babyyyyy!
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    Wasn't there some new rule out stating you couldn't sue the carrier anymore, you had to go through mediations or something like that? :confused:
     
  4. bikebryan

    bikebryan Senior Member
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    Binding arbitration is part of VZW service agreements - I don't remember if it was part of ATT's agreement though.
     
  5. Shizam76

    Shizam76 Shizam! Babyyyyy!
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    How does binding arbitration work then if you have a gripe like this?
     
  6. Shizam76

    Shizam76 Shizam! Babyyyyy!
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    Also...

    Unlimited defined (someone at ATT should read this):

    un·lim·it·ed
    [uhn-lim-i-tid]

    adjective

    1. not limited; unrestricted; unconfined: unlimited trade.

    2. boundless; infinite; vast: the unlimited skies.

    3. without any qualification or exception; unconditional.

    I think if they don't want people using unlimited, they need to get the people off unlimited period...or more stuff like this is going to happen....
     
  7. Eileen89

    Eileen89 Bronze Senior Member
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    I agree Shizam. I think it's getting to the point now where AT&T is going to be pushed into eliminating all grandfathered unlimited data plans. I don't see them taking to many more hits like this without doing nothing about it.

    Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 5_0_1 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/534.46 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.1 Mobile/9A406 Safari/7534.48.3
     
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  8. Shizam76

    Shizam76 Shizam! Babyyyyy!
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    I agree IR 100%. Something is going to break.
     
  9. AnthroMatt

    AnthroMatt Big Meanie
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    I am surprised they haven't eliminated them already. It's not a grounds for allowing people out without penalty, since the data plan is just an add-on. I wonder if the introduction of the $30 3gb plan was in part to give them an existing data plan at the same price point as the old unlimited plans.

    If AT&T eliminated unlimited and moved everyone to a tiered plan, the only option for people wanting unlimited data (and a decent device) is Sprint. And once those AT&T customers get a taste of how pitifully slow Sprint data is compared to AT&T, they'll be back to AT&T or over to Verizon.

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  10. Eileen89

    Eileen89 Bronze Senior Member
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    ^ Yeah, as far as Sprint goes I don't see too many of AT&T's customers defecting to them unless they are rolling out a LTE network soon as well. I don't follow Sprints happenings too closely so maybe have already started on this and I'm just not aware. As for the $30/3GB data plan that AT&T recently started, there has been speculation on other sites that AT&T did this in order to slowly migrate unlimited data uses over to that plan after they have throttled their data enough times.

    Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 5_0_1 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/534.46 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.1 Mobile/9A406 Safari/7534.48.3
     
  11. dmapr

    dmapr Silver Senior Member
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    While it is an add-on it's a mandatory one and has been for smartphones for quite a while now. AT&T would be on shaky ground if they tried to just take it away for people still under contract.
     
  12. bikebryan

    bikebryan Senior Member
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    The same as for any other situation that is resolved by mandatory binding arbitation. Basically:

    Both sides present their case to the arbiter.
    The arbiter decides the resolution to the case.
    Both sides MUST agree with this resolution (hence BINDING)
     
  13. Eileen89

    Eileen89 Bronze Senior Member
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    While a data plan is necessary, there is nothing written anywhere that states AT&T can't switch unlimited data users over the the $30/3GB data plan. I don't think they would, though.


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  14. dmapr

    dmapr Silver Senior Member
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    Of course not, at the time these users went under contract there wasn't even the $30/3GB plan offered :) However, as it was a required part of the package it would be grounds for waiving the ETF should they change the plan on them. Out of contract users are a different story.
     
  15. Shizam76

    Shizam76 Shizam! Babyyyyy!
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    Wasn't at&t requiring an UNLIMITED data plan or an UNLIMITED messaging plan for signing up for most smartphones? Or was it just A data plan and A messaging plan required?
     
  16. dmapr

    dmapr Silver Senior Member
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    I believe there was a time when the only available smartphone data plan was unlimited. You know, so people don't keep calling AT&T because their smartphone use so much data they have a huge monthly bill? And of course later they introduced limited data plans, presumably because their reps got bored not receiving any calls from smartphone users with high data bills. Or maybe they just forgot their previous lie -- who knows.

    There were never any devices that required both plans. The only devices that ever required one OR the other were "quick messaging devices" and that stopped after a few months.
     
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  17. Eileen89

    Eileen89 Bronze Senior Member
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    I believe the mandatory messaging plan was for non smartphone devices with a keyboard. Don't know if AT&T did away this or not now, though.


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  18. Eileen89

    Eileen89 Bronze Senior Member
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    I know what you're saying about the 3GB plan. I only referenced that plan because it is the only $30 plan that AT&T "could" potentially switch unlimited users to that would be the same price as what they are paying for now. I have the unlimited plan still. However I can't check the TOS because I am not under a contract with AT&T..... Do you know if the terms of the contract specifically state "unlimited data plan" or just "data for smartphones"? If AT&T were to get rid of the unlimited data plans for those who are under a contract, it would depend on the actual wording of the TOS as to whether or not they could get out of their contract without paying a ETF.....


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    #18 Eileen89, Feb 29, 2012
    Last edited: Feb 29, 2012
  19. dmapr

    dmapr Silver Senior Member
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    I've no idea, I've never seen an Orange T&C. My last contract was with Blue.
     
  20. efparri

    efparri Junior Member
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    AT&T is expected to appeal the judgement in the small claims case. The judge did follow the rules of the small claims court. The only thing that a small claims court can do is to decide upon monetary damages to the plaintiff. The plaintif failed to show that the actions or inactions of the defendant caused him financial harm. He did not pay more for data because of the throttling. The judge on his own motion awards damages for unrealized losses. A small claims court can only rule upon past losses proven by the plaintiff. In a full blown court one can sue for future losses such as loss of future income, loss of companionship or loss of bodily functions.
     
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  21. efparri

    efparri Junior Member
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    In the message above I meant to write "The judge did not follow the rules of the small claims court."
    The following immunizes AT&T against consequential damages:
    One would have to go through arbitration to complain about the terms of the contract. Small claims courts have no authority to rule on the validity of contracts. Subscribers are barred by the Federal Arbitration Act from bringing cases in other courts.
     
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  22. bikebryan

    bikebryan Senior Member
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    This is a small quibble, but having worked in the cell industry it IS important: you have NO "contract" with your cell carrier. You do agree to abide by their terms of service, but that is via a service agreement, NOT a contract.
     
  23. efparri

    efparri Junior Member
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    A contract is an agreement.
     
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  24. bikebryan

    bikebryan Senior Member
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    Try explaining that to a lawyer or a court. You will find complete disagreement.
     
  25. efparri

    efparri Junior Member
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    This is from Wikipedia:
    Contract - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    All agreements are not contracts but all contracts are agreements.
     
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  26. efparri

    efparri Junior Member
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    AT&T paid the plaintiff $935, which included the judgement plus the court costs. They decided that it was not worthwhile to pursue a case which set no precedents. Since they paid, they can throttle him at will. He has already been compensated. A small claims court cannot prohibit future action. It can only compensate those who suffered a financial loss because of the action or inaction of the defendant.
     
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