Judge orders AT&T to pay $850 to customer with “throttled” iPhone

A few months ago I wrote about why iPhone owners with AT&T’s legacy “unlimited data” plan might find it advantageous to switch to a cheaper limited plan — or to a limited data plan that includes tethering.

Now there’s another reason for making the switch. Users who actually take advantage of the “unlimited data” plan have found their data transmission slowed to a crawl by AT&T, which doesn’t want people to take advantage of the plan they’ve purchased.

A California court has ruled that by throttling data transmission, AT&T failed to provide one customer with the service he was paying for. The court has ordered AT&T to reimburse Matt Spaccarelli $850.

The contract iPhone users agree to with AT&T specifically prohibits them from engaging in a class-action suit, so Spaccarelli went it alone, taking his complaint to small claims court.

For details on the case, and the reasoning the judge used in making his decision, see this article by AP technology writer Peter Svensson. It also compares AT&T’s “throttling” practices with the “gentler” ones at Verizon and T-Mobile — valuable information if you are choosing a plan.

About Karen Anderson

To paraphrase Mark Morris, "I'm a writer; I write!"
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