AT&T iPhone user awarded $850 in throttling case by Judge

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Monday, 27 February 2012

AT&T iPhone user awarded $850 in throttling case by Judge

In an attempt to push users off grandfathered unlimited plans last year AT&T implemented data throttling to the top 5% of users. It was unclear exactly what constituted excessive usage, but many report receiving the notice after using over 2GB of data within a month. This didn't sit well with Matt Spaccerelli, an unemployed truck driver and student, decided to take AT&T to small claims court. He won the case and was awarded $850 by Judge Russell Nadel by arguing it wasn't fair for AT&T to slow down his iPhone, when they sold him an "unlimited data" plan.

This could open the flood gates for AT&T users as they have 17 million customers with "unlimited data" and could be subjected to throttling. However, AT&T's terms of service forbid them from filing a class action lawsuit or taking them to a trial jury. This only leaves small claims court as a viable option and it paid off for Spaccarelli, indicating he only used 1.5 to 2GB of data for the month, while AT&T provides 3GB's of data to subscribers of a newer tiered plan costing the same $30 month. AT&T spokesman Marty Richter will appeal the judges ruling saying "At the end of the day, our contract governs our relationship with our customers," he said.

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