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Hey AT&T customers: Do you remember having an unlimited data plan with AT&T between 2011 and 2015? If you do, you may be entitled to compensation as part of a $60 million class action settlement that AT&T reached with the U.S. government’s Federal Trade Commission (FTC) over data throttling.
According to the FTC’s lawsuit, AT&T didn’t properly tell customers that their data speeds would be slowed down once they used a certain amount of data. The FTC says this data throttling was unlawful, and now AT&T is paying customers. We’ll give you the details on the data throttling settlement, how to check if you’re eligible for compensation, and how to file a claim.
Here’s what you need to know:
Most AT&T customers affected by the data throttling have already received settlement payouts.
The AT&T data throttling lawsuit was originally filed by the FTC way back in 2014. When the lawsuit finally settled in August 2019, AT&T agreed to pay $60 million to customers who were affected by the data throttling.
In the months after the initial settlement, claimants who were still customers were given credits on their bills, and former customers received refund checks. But some eligible customers who qualify for these settlement payouts haven’t received checks or payments yet — and there’s still about $7 million left to be distributed.
If you haven’t received a payout yet, you have to file a claim by May 18, 2023.
Think you may be owed some money from AT&T? Check your AT&T account or bank balance to double-check that you haven’t already received a payment. You qualify for some of the remaining funds if you were an AT&T customer who had an unlimited data plan at some point between Oct. 1, 2011, and June 30, 2015, and haven’t yet received a check, cash, account credit, or another kind of payment from AT&T for the settlement.
To file a claim by the May 18, 2023 deadline, visit the FTC’s settlement website, call 1-877-654-1982, or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
When filing your claim, you’ll need to provide information, such as the phone number associated with your respective unlimited AT&T data plan and confirmation that you experienced slow data speeds or data throttling that made it difficult to use your data on your unlimited AT&T plan.
Don’t expect a big payout if you qualify.
The FTC claimed that AT&T’s practice of data throttling made network speeds very slow for at least 3.5 million customers. Take the $60 million settlement and divide it by 3.5 million people, and each person averages just over $17.
That’s right in line with the compensation most qualifying AT&T customers have already received — between $10 and $23. But the amount of compensation for the remaining eligible customers will be determined once all claims have been filed and processed. That number will depend on where you live, as well as the total number of people dividing up that final $7 million.
AT&T has changed course on data throttling since settling the lawsuit.
As part of the settlement, AT&T didn’t admit to any wrongdoing or liability related to the data throttling allegations made by the FTC.
But after settling the FTC lawsuit in 2019, AT&T announced changes to their data throttling practices. The company ended the policy of surprising customers by slowing down data speeds once they exceeded a certain amount of data usage on their unlimited plans.
Instead, AT&T now offers unlimited plans with a specified amount of high-speed data usage, after which data speeds may be slowed down to 2G speeds.