Former AT&T customers who were not compensated as part of the telecom giant’s $60 million settlement with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) are being given a new opportunity to file a claim for a refund.
The settlement, which was reached back in 2019, required AT&T to provide refunds for failing to disclose to customers with unlimited data plans that their data speeds would be throttled, or reduced, after they used a certain amount of data in their monthly billing cycle, which sometimes made it nearly impossible for customers to use certain functions on their phones.
Although AT&T has already provided $52 million in refunds to many current and former customers, the company has not been able to reach everyone covered by the settlement, so the FTC has set aside the remaining $7 million to be distributed among eligible consumers who submit valid claims.
Remember: the new claims process, announced on January 19, 2023, is designed for former AT&T customers who haven’t already gotten a refund from the settlement.
Keep reading to find out how to submit a claim and everything else you should know about the AT&T settlement.
Who’s eligible to submit a claim now?
According to the FTC, the new claims process applies to former AT&T customers who had an unlimited data plan sometime between October 1, 2011 and June 30, 2015 and experienced data throttling, i.e., slow data speeds, and have not already received a payment from AT&T.
Current AT&T customers who were eligible for a refund should have already received a bill credit in 2020, and many former customers were already sent a refund check from AT&T as part of the 2019 settlement. If you’ve already received a payment from AT&T, either as a credit or a check, you are not eligible to file a claim.
I never got my refund. How do I file a claim?
Those who fit the above description and who have not been refunded can file a claim at ATTDataThrottling.com.
The deadline to submit a claim is May 18, 2023.
How much will I get from the AT&T settlement?
The amount of each person’s payment hasn’t been specified by the FTC and depends on several factors, including how many other people file claims for a refund.
Was this a class action lawsuit?
No, the refunds for AT&T customers came as a result of litigation brought by the Federal Trade Commission against AT&T.
While class action lawsuits allow one or a few private citizens to sue on behalf of many others, some government agencies—such as the Federal Trade Commission and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, for instance—are authorized to take action against companies believed to be violating the law.
Specifically, the Federal Trade Commission may file a complaint in federal court when it has “reason to believe” that a law was or is being violated and that litigation against the offending party is in the public’s best interest. The matter is then up to the court to decide and may result in affected consumers receiving refunds.
In this case, the FTC filed a complaint against AT&T Mobility, LLC in 2014 alleging that the company was essentially operating a “bait-and-switch” scheme by promising customers “unlimited” data while failing to disclose that their data speeds would be throttled once they used a certain amount during a given billing cycle. Customers whose data was intentionally throttled experienced “drastically reduced service,” with some devices exhibiting up to a 95-percent reduction in speed, such that certain smartphone applications like web browsing, GPS navigation and video streaming became nearly impossible to use, according to the complaint. The FTC said AT&T has received many thousands of customer complaints regarding its apparent data throttling practices.
“AT&T promised its customers ‘unlimited’ data, and in many instances, it has failed to deliver on that promise,” FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez said at the time.
After a lengthy legal battle, AT&T agreed to a $60 million settlement in late 2019 that required the telecom giant to no longer misrepresent the speed or amount of mobile data provided to customers and to plainly disclose any restrictions. The company also agreed to provide partial refunds to current and former unlimited data plan customers who experienced throttling. Refunds were provided automatically, either through a credit for current customers or a check for former customers, using information from AT&T’s records.
How do I get more information about the claims process?
If you still have questions about the AT&T settlement, you can reach out to the claims administrator by calling 1-877-654-1982 or emailing info@ATTDataThrottling.com.
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