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Matt Spaccarelli vs. AT&T

"Stop Throttling "Unlimited" Data Plans"

  • Matt Spaccarelli


    AT&T has started slowing down data service for the top 5 percent of its smartphone subscribers with "unlimited" data plans.

    AT&T customers like me using as little as 1.5gigabytes per month have been subject to throttling-creating painfully slow access to Web browsing and causing video streaming to not work at all.

    There is no way of knowing if you'll be throttled before a warning message appears. If you keep using your phones, throttling kicks in a few days later. I took the company to small claims court in order to avoid the binding arbitration clause mandated by AT&T service contracts.

    Pro-tem Judge Russell Nadel found in my favor, saying it wasn't fair for the company to purposely slow down my iPhone, when it had sold me an "unlimited data" plan. I was awarded $850 to cover the expected cost I must pay for using additional data in the remaining 10 months of my two-year contract.

    It's not fair for AT&T to make a promise to customers when they buy the phone while burying terms in their contracts that give the company the right to cut down data speeds. AT&T spokesman Marty Richter has said that "At the end of the day, our contract governs our relationship with our customers."

    They are not changing the throttling policy. I need the money, but for me, this case is not about money at all. You don't tell somebody 'you have unlimited' and then cut them off.

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  • Matt Spaccarelli


    AT&T has started slowing down data service for the top 5 percent of its smartphone subscribers with "unlimited" data plans.

    AT&T customers like me using as little as 1.5gigabytes per month have been subject to throttling-creating painfully slow access to Web browsing and causing video streaming to not work at all.

    There is no way of knowing if you'll be throttled before a warning message appears. If you keep using your phones, throttling kicks in a few days later. I took the company to small claims court in order to avoid the binding arbitration clause mandated by AT&T service contracts.

    Pro-tem Judge Russell Nadel found in my favor, saying it wasn't fair for the company to purposely slow down my iPhone, when it had sold me an "unlimited data" plan. I was awarded $850 to cover the expected cost I must pay for using additional data in the remaining 10 months of my two-year contract.

    It's not fair for AT&T to make a promise to customers when they buy the phone while burying terms in their contracts that give the company the right to cut down data speeds. AT&T spokesman Marty Richter has said that "At the end of the day, our contract governs our relationship with our customers."

    They are not changing the throttling policy. I need the money, but for me, this case is not about money at all. You don't tell somebody 'you have unlimited' and then cut them off.

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