The FTC’s mobile data throttling case against AT&T: An inside look

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A rental car company prominently advertises “unlimited mileage.” You rent from them and everything is going fine until you’ve done a few hours of highway driving. That’s when the company tells you it’s changed its unlimited mileage policy. Since you’ve traveled more than 100 miles, they've restricted it so the car you contracted for won't accelerate over 30. The analogy isn’t perfect, of course, but it offers a broad-stroke introduction to the FTC’s complaint against AT&T Mobility for data throttling – the company’s practice of marketing “unlimited” smartphone data plans, but then restricting the data speed of customers who use more than a few gigabytes of data in a billing cycle.

In 2007, AT&T became the exclusive mobile data provider for the Apple iPhone. The company offered customers an unlimited mobile data plan for $20 a month, a fee that increased to $30 when the iPhone 3G was released.

A few years later, AT&T stopped offering unlimited plans to new customers and required them to buy tiered plans, which offered limited data and changed extra for anything over that.  But by then, millions of customers had already signed up for unlimited plans.  In addition, other companies started to offer data plans for iPhones. So to keep unlimited customers from switching, AT&T grandfathered their plans when they bought new smartphones.

In 2011, AT&T began reducing the data speed for customers with unlimited plans. Under its data throttling program, if a customer exceeded a limit set by AT&T, the company substantially reduced the speed of their device for the rest of their billing cycle. Initially, the data usage threshold varied from city to city – with thresholds as low as 2GB in markets like New York or San Francisco. Later, AT&T adopted a national policy to start slowing data speed down after 3GB on its 3G network and 5GB on its LTE network.

Just how much slower was the service to unlimited customers? According to the FTC, many consumers experienced a slow-down of 85%, 90%, or even 95%. As a result, lots of everyday uses – like web browsing, GPS navigation, or video streaming – range from significantly slower to pretty much inoperable. Customer complaints poured into the company, the Better Business Bureau, and government agencies. AT&T has received more than 190,000 customer calls about throttling.

The FTC’s lawsuit cites company documents that offer behind-the-scenes insights into how customers understood A&T's “unlimited” advertising claim. For example, the company had focus group research indicating that its throttling program was at odds with consumer understanding of an “unlimited” plan. Citing participants who thought the idea was “misleading” and “clearly unfair,” researchers noted, “As we’d expect, the reaction to [a proposed data throttling program] was negative; consumers felt ‘unlimited  should mean unlimited.’” The researchers continued, “The more consumers talked about it the more they didn’t like it.” Their advice: “Saying less is more, [so] don’t say too much” in marketing communications about a data throttling program.

According to the complaint, AT&T was also aware of third-party research citing astronomically high rates of consumer dissatisfaction – in some cases, as high as 93% – with the speed throttled consumers experienced.

Couldn’t the speed and service reductions be due to real-time network congestion at a particular cell tower? The FTC says that isn’t the case and that throttled consumers are subject to this reduced speed even if they use their smartphone at a time when the network isn’t busy.

But doesn’t throttling apply to just a handful of mega-users? No. According to the complaint, since October 2011, AT&T has throttled its customers more than 25 million times, affecting more than 3.5 million unique users. What’s more, when customers are throttled, their data speed is reduced, on average, for the last 12 days of their 30-day billing cycle.

The FTC says that AT&T doesn’t adequately tell its unlimited customers about its data throttling program. For most of them, the only thing they got before renewing their unlimited plan – which includes hefty penalties for early termination – was a 2011 bill statement that said, “To provide the best possible network experience, starting 10/01/11, smartphone customers with unlimited data plans whose usage is in the top 5% of users can still use unlimited data but may see reduced data speeds for the rest of their monthly billing cycle. We’ll alert you if you near the top 5%. To avoid slowed speeds you may use Wi-Fi or choose a tiered data plan.” The FTC says that statement didn’t disclose just how substantially AT&T would reduce their data speed and the impact that would have on their ability to use their device. It also failed to adequately disclose that the speed reduction was due not to general network congestion, but rather to a limit intentionally imposed by AT&T.

The lawsuit – filed in federal court in San Francisco – charges AT&T with both unfair and deceptive practices. Count I alleges that AT&T advertised its data plan as “unlimited” and entered into contracts with consumers who reasonably understood they’d get the advertised benefit. But after locking them in to long-term contracts, AT&T diminished their service when they used more than a fixed amount of data in a given billing cycle. That, says the FTC, is an unfair trade practice.

Count II alleges that AT&T represented expressly or by implication that the amount of data consumers could access in any billing period would not be limited. But since imposing its data throttling program, AT&T has placed material speed restrictions on “unlimited” customers who use more than a fixed amount of data in a billing cycle. In light of the representations the company made, the FTC says AT&T’s failure to disclose that fact was deceptive.



I've had an unlimited plan for many years and when LTE was turned up in the Little Rock Market, I was and still am throttled back on bandwidth if I exceed 5GB. I've never, ever exceeded 7 GB of data usage. I have been successful in getting that "counter" reset if/when I called ATT and complained. My position each time I complained was that throttle my usage, fine! But don't throttle my usage to the point where I can't use my phone. They will throttle my speed back to about 500k down and 200k up. I'm glad the FTC is taking them on, throttling speed is theft as far as I'm concerned.
What a clear fraud. There seems to br no limit to the lengths that American business will go to cheat their customers.
How is this different than any other company? Watch all the commercials, they all have some sort of disclaimer at the bottom in uber small type, and only flash it on the screen for a moment, no where long enough for the average person to read it... It just seems odd for a lawsuit for something that happened years ago vs things that are happening now... Sprint and T-Mobile do this every day.. TODAY.
If you keep notice it happening, nothing is going to change unless you make a COMPLAINT!! The FCC & FTC have their info listed, so use it!!
Furthermore,it is happening still to this current day. This is not a thing of the past. Read the articles more carefully. It started years ago and hasn't stopped.

your right Sprint tmobile are pulling the same exact thing its not right they are using deceptive ads to get you to sign up and then when you complain they have no clue due to the fact they changed your plan with out notification to the consumer.

Given that I know that ATT will be reading this, I just want to say … Good luck in federal court in San Francisco … Many of the judges there went to Cal in the late 60’s and early 70’s, the same with the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. So, that will be fun to watch. If there is anyplace where ATT will get what they deserve, it is in Federal Court in San Francisco. As for the FTC, finally something for the 99%, thank you so very much. Now, if Justice can just get their act together and prosecute the Wall Street jerks behind the mortgage backed securities frauds that tanked the economy in 2008. It is long past time to see the Wall Street perps walk, up close and personal, live on CNN. It would be quite cathartic for the nation. Come on Justice, get your act together! I know it takes time to build an airtight case but this amount of time is ridiculous. Walk one on live TV and the others will be happy to rat each other out for a deal. Or has Justice been compromised by Big Money?
I'm glad there is a case being made! I am one of the users whose service gets throttled. I've said ever since it was brought to my attention that it's not really unlimited if they slow it down so much you can't use it! I have thought numerous times about filing a complaint, but wondered if my voice would even be heard! Good work FTC!
At least Verizon doesn't throttle. I have kept my truly unlimited data at 4G Lte sspeed.i just can't buy a phone from them at discount contract price. I can provide my own equipment or buy full retail from them. My stepson uses over 200 gb a month! Thanks for the honesty, Verizon.
The practice of throttling is an unfair and deceptive practice. ATT advertised and promised "unlimited" data but controls it in the background. This practice is unavoidable by the consumer. The only way a customer can have uninterrupted service is to give up the unlimited plan and sign up for one where they will incur additional charges for their data usage. They should be required to remove the throttling and compensate the customers for the services they interrupted. Try taking a toddler on a long road trip where the data plan starts to throttle (practically halt) while they watch their favorite flick!!!

Every company throttles. I have TMobile and my data throttles. If you don't want your data throttled and you know that the unlimited data throttles then get an a different data plan. Your data speed might not throttle so much if you only had one page open at a time and not 10 or more also. close more web pages and apps so you don't have so many things running at the same time. People don't know how to use their phones.

ATnT is not the only one.they are all the same."Call a cat ,a cat Corbett a thief" Even if I get a new job I will never use a cellular phone,they twisted my pocket.
I have ATT for 14 years and always pay my bill on time make sure to do the right thing. Why is it that good customers pay their bill on time get throttle and get cheated If I purchased a new car or anything or any service plan I Would expect them to do the right thing follow through with what they offer me not try to change things or go around the corner do something different. Corporate greed Or change the terms I entered in to a unlimited plan should not go around and try to find a way to cheat us to do the right thing is corporate America going to be able to control the government and the people Thank you America for looking out for me
Enjoy your blog
I been using att unlimited data since 2006 att is violating consumer rights So att had to pay us back instead to pay them plus att is blocking Tethering to used to any mobile device I don't know why att calling unlimited data when they limited our data
Sprint charges customers for service and the calls don't even go through. isn't that an implied guarantee that the calls will go through on a network?
I just got off the phone with an AT&T Advanced support tech service When I explained that my service was so slow I couldn't even reach the Internet. He said to me Yes for the last 3 days your service has been throttled. I told him that my plan is unlimited data and at this point It's basically no data. He replied yes you are right That with the throttling all you will be able to do is send and receive emails. That's not unlimited data and I pay extra for unlimited data. I've had the option to lower my phone bill by 30-40 dollars a month to go on the set data plan but I've opted to pay more for the unlimited. I'm not getting what AT&T Advertised. I plan on calling the better business bureau My state representative and an attorney. Total deception by a corporate giant just because they can.
You have no control. You can't complain or they will make you change. It's not what I originally set up. So the original agreement was that there was no throttling. They change it and tell you, but we have no say. You have to accept it, because there is no recourse.
Been with AT&T since the first Iphone. Original unlimited data subscriber. Grandfathered and have always had Lata issues. I knew of data throttling but not to the level I'm experiencing now. Don't even think about watching a video on youtube that's over 2 min long. Buffering takes 100 years. Does any I NE know how long it will take for the courts to look at this lawsuit???
It's total crap. My data speed has crawled to the point that I rarely use it. Try to log onto Wifi whenever I can - which is what I guess they want to do. Make someone else's bandwidth their pipe. This may ultimately force me to Verizon finally. ATT, you just suck. Hopefully next on the FCC list: Comcast.

I to am tired and at a breaking point with AT&T and am highly considering Verizon because of all the lies, cheating, and stealing from AT&T. If I want to put up with lies and cheating I would have stayed with my ex boyfriend.

I also had lots off issues when I called at&t they said I reached my max of 6gb I advised them I pay for unlimited data and have a grandfather plan. They said when it reaches that amount it will always slow down. that is not what I paid for
My evidence on how I was throttled when I did not even reach 5 GB, I was throttled at 2.63 with an iPhone 5S. My twitter will show a LOT more than that. I already filed with the FTC

Yes it is the fact that FTC says that AT&T doesn’t adequately tell its unlimited customers about its data throttling program.

Try taking a toddler on a long road trip where the data plan starts to throttle (practically halt) while they watch their favorite flick.

I have Att unlimited data and it sometimes don't work so I called att and they never told me that after so many GB of data they slow the speed of my data. Until I called last week. Than they told me that they slower my data after I use 5 GB of data. I than told them that that's not fair because I had unlimited since they started that and I pay about $80.00 a month for data. So I asked them What could I do about that they told me to change my data plan. My reply was it's been doing that since day one and that's all you can tell me. She said yes.

I've been wondering why my iPhone keeps buffering and data is so slow....

I assumed it was a phone problem... I have the iPhone 5, and figured it's about the right timing that the phone gets slower and slower to the point of having to buy a new one

Every time I've had to visit the AT&T store, they try to get me to switch data plans "so you can save on your data plan"...of course I explain the unlimited is grandfathered and I'd spend more on overages on data than on my unlimited billed charge.

Slowing our unlimited data plan is criminal. Seriously. Cox Cable has been accused of doing the same thing to our WiFi speed in San Diego...and I can attest to it personally. Shame on AT&T and all companies like this. I hope it is made illegal!

Ps: Don't get me started on their AT&T Digital Life Security system that has gone down 22 times in the last 30 days...]

My iPhone 4 was recently stolen. I have been an AT&T costumer for 11 or so years. My contract was up. When I had to replace my iPhone I was advised by the sales rep (Diania M) at store #1060 in Stuart, FL that the iPhone 4 was no longer available and I would have to upgrade to the iPhone 5s. I agreed, but advised her that I would only renew my contract if my bill would not increase and my plan would stay the same. I told her what my plan was and how much I could afford to pay each month. I took cash out of my savings account that day and also told her I wanted to pay cash for everything that day so that my next bill would be the same. She pulled my info up and did her thing, gave me my receipt and that was that until I called to pay my bill and it went from $70. And sum odd change to $137. Something. When I spoke to customer service (Adrianna, Amber) they advised of a $40.00 upgrade fee, and the loss of all previously given discounts. They were unwilling to honor what their sales rep had led me to believe. If there is a class action suit for deceptive trade practices, I would like to be added to the list. I have a witness that was there w me when this information was given to me. Her son-in-law and daughter work for apple. I want to cancel my contract, as it was clearly misrepresented to me and go to Verizon who also offers iPhone and unlimited data plan for even less than I was paying w the discounts for 4gigs of data. Sincerely, Marguerite Sovine

The meaning of Unlimited from Dictionary Not Limited,Unrestricted, Unconfined, Boundless,Infinite and Vast maybe At&T needs to open up a dictionary once in a while.

What is the update on this lawsuit?

AT&T needs to be financially punished for this in a very significant way. They are strong arming unlimited data customers to shell out more money for tier'd plans.

Unlimited data customers should be throttled at AT&T's highest tier'd plan (100GB) because really THAT's their network limit. Not 5GB. And if they throttle, they should throttle 25%.. not 95%. At 95%, my phone apps are useless for the rest of the billing cycle.

This is fraudulent and WRONG.

Hi, iamjames. The FTC filed a lawsuit against AT&T in federal court in Seattle. The case remains pending.

In Washington State Century Link just upped our bill again. They got increase last year and they also got another one approved for 2015. Next month I get to pay $2.00 more a month and still I get downthrottled. I contacted my Governor's office since he appoints the state's utility board. I also contacted the state Utilities Commission. I contacted our state Attorney General. I submitted complaints with the FTC. I wonder if the reason the Feds haven't gotten tough with all the downthrottling is due to the fact they give big Telecom a pass since they worked in secrecy with the NSA and let them access to all American's communications. These telecom companies quietly went along and then our telephone bills skyrocketed and all sorts of games began with consumers like downthrottling. They guy that runs Century Link is just scummy. He has been with this company for 30+ yrs because no one wants him. He has floated to the top like a turd. He is now being investigated by the feds for selling a ton of CL stock just before a quarterly report which was less than stellar and caused the stock prices to drop. I think he did this insider trading because the feds have looked the other way on so many issues for many years. Yes this is a law suit but you still see the feds looking the other way on all of this and they all point their fingers at others and it is a big joke and CL knows it. That is why they do all this to consumers with impunity. CL made 12 billion two years ago and my service continues to get worse and I pay more each year for that. We let corporations in the U.S. determine what is right and wrong when we don't regulate what is right and wrong. Obama has been the biggest disappointment and there has been no change just more of the same.

Many months ago when the whole net neutrality thing was big in the news I noticed that CL stopping the severe downthrottling with my dsl. Now this month when my bill went up once again by $2.00 for dsl the downthrottling has been in earnest once again like clock work. CL seems to get rate increases a lot but not required to update my old telephone line for dsl. The made 12 BILLION tow years ago. I now will pay $24.00 more this year and get worse service. Thanks Obama. Not only did the FCC rubber stamp this increase for CL but something else must have happened to make CL feel confident in downthrottling with impunity once again. CL is not a company I feel all warm and fuzzy about. The head of the company is now being investigated for insider trading. Apparently he feels bullet proof from any government regulations and I can see why. He also loves to boast about how he made his Louisiana home town give tons of concessions for him to keep the company there. Nice guy. I have been LIED to by CL over and over again. They NEVER would admit to me they were downthrottling. Instead they had no qualms in making me think if I upped my plan, spend more, it would take care of it, which it would not and they also said it was my equipment and that I should spend upwards of $200.00 for replacing modem and router, the equipment was fine. They would not return calls or emails many times. I finally got through to their corporate complaint department. This guy was a young veteran and he really didn't seem to know that much about the phone industry and didn't sound that bright at all but what he was good at was intimidating the consumer AND he yelled many times at me. When I wanted to call or write to the head of CL he just laughed and something to the effect there was no way I was going to make contact with him. CL feels very confident they don't have to respond to consumer complaints and think it is a big joke. Cheney et all created some monster telecom corporations out there who firmly believe they are above the law. I can see why when they see NSA spying on Americans. When I left a message for his supervisor, I got no returned call. Louisiana is well known for their very different laws and really I find CL a bunch of Louisiana mafia good old boy types. The older I get the more I think states need to take back more control since the federal government has shown over and over again that it can't do much and is easily corrupted by large corporations via the congress et al in D.C. I wish the states would take back control of the local telecom and allow the state utilities to manage it. I think I am now turning into a Republican. When NSA approached the telecom companies for back door access to spy on Americans this gave big telecom undue influence at the White House and federal government. I think that explains why our cell phone and dsl bills are skyrocketing while the service is worse. Compared to other countries once again we are at the bottom with slow dsl speeds and high bills because corporations see us a easy pickings. Also why did they think they can get rid of net neutrality altogether? I think all this new influence when to their heads and I can see why they think that way. Cheney made a deal with the telecom devil for sure and Obama rubber stamped it. I also think that is why Mr. Wheeler, a telecom insider, was appointed to make sure telecom would have very little interference. At any time when the feds felt they should regulate big telecom... I am sure they had to weigh whether they wanted someone at the telecom companies to secretly let the press know what NSA was up to. Did big telcom blackmail the White House? Entirely plausible in some respects. I am sure there were good people at the FCC but Wheeler made sure the telecom companies didn't too much oversight. Why do I think that? Well when I first tried to file a complaint at the FCC website you could only select certain categories and guess what...downthrottling would not fit under any of the very few that were offered. There wasn't even an "other" for gods sake. But when the media went viral about net neutrality only then did we see the FCC website have a place for folks to make complaints about downthrottling. But I haven't heard anything from the FCC about the whole downthrottling with my dsl. Nothing nadda and zippo. I see that the FCC and Obama are doing this lawsuit but it is just one player of out of many who are doing all this and I think it is a dog and pony show for the technology industry in Seattle. If past history is any indicator I think we all know the FCC is not about to get too tough with this industry since I bet these telecom companies might have some very damaging information about what the NSA really culled from their communications snooping. That is why this month I get to watch my Netflix at two dots instead of the regular 4 dots after watching a show for like 1 minute it like clock works rebuffers. I used to be worried about foreign entities messing with my internet but really I am already battling the enemies from within... telecom robber barons.

One guy sued AT&T for throttling him and he was breaking the rules with their contract by tethering so if he can sue them and win then why not others? I know for a fact they throttle me as well on months I use more data than usual as I have a big phone and watching netflix on it is good but at times I can't do much of anything on my phone because they slow me down to pretty much dead...I am getting really frustrated as I have been a loyal customer for 8 years almost I think, I have referred people to them and I don't want to change carriers but unlimited should be just that UNLIMITED period, no strings attached. The guy who sued them and won showed how there is no real need for them to slow the whopping 5% of heavy users down as the light users balance it all out. I know some people who pay for the unlimited data and barely use any of it so I use it for them at times typically 3 billing cycles a year or so. Something needs to be done as ATT should not be able to do that and I have actually been thinking deeply about filing a suit against them for it as I want my phone to work and I believe that ATT should honor the unlimited data as promised to grandfathered customers. Also I get paperless billing so I never saw anything about the throttling after a certain amount until one day I got a text saying I was reaching the point they would throttle me but I wouldn't get another notice if I do it in another billing cycle. At that very time that text came through my phone became completely useless. I could not get online, I couldn't use ebay for my business stuff. It was interesting because it only became useless after 6pm which is when I use my phone the most, I cracked it up to a bad night then a bad week but after that I contacted them. They never said anything about the throttling at that time though they noticed my usage leading up to lost service after 6pm. They claimed for 3 or 4 weeks that they were doing tower repairs and also I may need a new sim card, I went to the store and talk to a sales person and they changed the card, it just got worse it became completely useless where I couldn't even use it away from home, no phone calls nothing. After speaking to them numerous times and getting all sorts of excuses, all the the towers are being worked on really I work 25 miles away from home, there has to be a tower that isn't being worked on seriously??!! I should be able to use my phone darn it, I pay a lot of money each month and I couldn't even use it for a month as I was patient, I believed them at first. I went by the ATT repair center and it was interesting I was already 2 weeks into my billing cycle and they just replaced the phone under warranty and it worked fine but was very slow still off and on. The lady who is a manager at the repair store is a sour puss too, just not a social, customer friendly person at all. I thought I was bothering her more than anything really. She didn't even bother asking if I had backed up my phone before deleting everything. I am becoming increasingly annoyed when I am slowed to almost a stand still on months I use more data than usual recently. Which again is only a few billing cycles out of the year....I plan on filing some complaints too as I have finally just had a enough really as unlimited should unlimited period.

What do I have to do to sue the pants off them for this?

AT&T tells that throttling of data is baseless and the case against is useless. I think we have show att what is happening with all unlimited customers.Every time you ask them they we do it for to avoid network congestion.
so I asked them when they don't have any problem before 5GB data in the network.why only after 5GB the network problem.

We received notice from AT&T that we are eligible for a free upgrade. We went to a local AT& T store were the salesman also told us we are eligible for a free upgrade. We pick out a phone. We are told that we would have an increase on our monthly Date plan. After several minutes of asking him to explain why we would have this increase and getting ridiculous answers, he finally tried saying that All companies are eliminating the two year plan which allows customers the freedom to change phones without penalties and "that is why data plan costs have gone down." Seriously? Our data plan has consistently gone up!! After several minutes of this argument where he clearly was not going to win he admitted that the monthly increase was to cover the difference between AT& T's price for the phone and the retail cost of the phone. My answer, " So the free phone is not free. That is fraud and that needs to stop now." That lead to several more minutes of trying to convince us that the phone is part way free!!!

I contacted ATT yesterday regarding a text message I received notifying me of an impending "slow down" of my data due to excessive (5GB) use. ATT told me there is nothing they can do about this and its a standard practice to "throttle" UNLIMITTED data plans who use more than 5GB per billing cycle! I told them that my speed went so slow that I could not even check my email. They continued to claim that although I did have an UNLIMITTED data plan but that the data after 5GB would be at 2G speeds. Personally, I find that to be deceptive advertising or sales practices as I was told when purchasing the plans that I could use as much data as I wanted to at the then 3G speeds. Ive kept the plans (2) for almost 7 years anticipating using more and more data in the future. Now, the future is here and I find that Ive wasted all that money investing in keeping the data plans up until now only to have a useless service after only 5GB! Shame on you ATT!

i mean it is called "unlimited data" not "un throttled data" so yea I don't feel like I was being jipped, not to mention I re-read my terms and conditions I signed and it clears says they have the right to change their plans without notice, and my signature is clearly there at the bottom. I think it's funny when the consumers complain about something they agreed too long long ago. Either way I switched to their new plans, it's cheaper anyways and I get more features. Stop complaining because you didn't read the agreement.

I have been ATT customer since the dawn of the cellular phone, back to Pacific Bell. This is the first time I am seriously thinking of some other carriers. I have never been over the 5 GB limit the ATT had set. Therefore, I don't think I am one of the 5% that ATT had claimed use the most bandwidth. Well, finally I was fortunate enough to take vacation after years of working without. Guess what, on the second day of my vacation, I got a message that I am over the 5GB of the limit they had set. From that point on, my internet access pretty much was useless. It is pretty much good for text messages, nothing more. I can surf the net, but will have to wait for a long long time for it to complete. I was in the middle of the wilderness in Lake Tahoe and my GPS app is not loading fast enough. It was a nightmare. If they reduce the speed, from 40 mbps that the LTE normally is, to 30, 20 ,15 ,10, or even 5 mbps for that matter, I wouldn't even complaint. They reduce the speed to 300-400kps, that's way too much for me to stomach. AT that speed, you can not actually do anything with now a day applications. I would compare to the all you can eat buffet. After the 5th trip, you were told you can take only a piece of bacon, or any food, for every 30 minutes. But, oh yes, it still all you can eat. What a rip off.

I had been with ATT since 2006. 3 iPhones with grandfathered unlimited data . What a pack of lies , I could hardly watch a you tube video. I just recently changed to Verizon and things are much better. I still have one phone with Att and am paying over $130 per month ! Throttling is theft ! Way to go FCC

Call them and escalate as high as you can. Then ask them to find and enter the codes to pull the unlimited setting and then just replace the unlimited setting. This is a way to reset the data counter. Your speeds will return to normal immediately thereafter. I just did this today. It took an hour and lots of shouting followed by a sob story, which was true. Finally he said he could do it. As always, they can help you, but they rarely want too. Of course this means after those 5 gigs you will get re throttled so it's just a short term workaround until the next billin cycle.

I have been getting charged data overages for the months that I have already paid. My billing cycle begins on the 7th of each month and I pay my bill by the 4th of each month which should reset my data when the bill is paid, but AT&T is charging me approx. $105.00 in overages. They are billing 1 separate line for the months of Feb, Mar., and April for all of the 4 lines on the account. When I called about it I was told that AT&T were charging us for directory assistance from Jan. and is now billing us again in April for the Jan. directory assistance charges. We have been continuously charged for AT&T NEWS which is suppose to be free and for AT&T Mobile TV which we NEVER subscribed to. When I questioned AT&T about all of this in March I was told by a manager that "this is how AT&T has always worked and this is how it will continue to do."

I've am being throttled right now! THANK YOU FTC for standing up for us!

AT&T for the past couple years of been trying to get me to switch my unlimited data plan. At one point I was told I couldn't get a certain type of phone because my data plan with unlimited and wouldn't cover the data on that phone. Last year AT&T without my knowledge switched my data plan from unlimited to 3GB. I found out when I get a text message saying that I was over my limit. I've been throtted several times. I practically live on my smart phone with running my business and my personal life. This makes it very hard to maintain all that I need to do. I should not have to buy other devices or be bullied by AT&T into switching my data plan. I signed up I should not have to buy other devices or be bullied by AT&T into switching my data plan. I signed up for unlimited data because I needed unlimited data and now I can't use the unlimited data that I pay for. I'm glad that FTC is standing up to ATT. for unlimited data because I needed unlimited data and now I can't use the unlimited data that I pay for. I'm glad that FTC is standing up to

This is great work by the FTC. I have been a customer of At&t for over a decade and have the unlimited data plan. As of this morning I received the text message: "Your data has reached 75% of the 5 GB network management threshold. If you exceed 5 GB this month you may experience reduced data speeds..." I've been subjected to this in the past and my mobile device becomes unusable. I applaud the FTC involvement by weeding out these deceptive tactics that truly affect customers. Bravo and keep up the good fight...!

where do I get my refund?

Hi, anotherthrottle. The FTC's lawsuit against AT&T is pending in federal court in California. It hasn't gone to trial yet.

Totally happened to me! After I called them AT&T tried to switch my plan... Saying that I my usage was up on a "unlimited plan"...Totally was fishy!

Thanks for standing for us.


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It is your choice whether to submit a comment. If you do, you must create a user name, or we will not post your comment. The Federal Trade Commission Act authorizes this information collection for purposes of managing online comments. Comments and user names are part of the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) public records system (PDF), and user names also are part of the FTC’s computer user records system (PDF). We may routinely use these records as described in the FTC’s Privacy Act system notices. For more information on how the FTC handles information that we collect, please read our privacy policy.