AT&T won’t appeal decision in throttling suit, pays up

“AT&T Inc. on Friday gave up on appealing an $850 award won by an iPhone user in small claims court, and sent him a check,” Peter Svensson reports for The Associated Press.
“Matt Spaccarelli, of Simi Valley, Calif., had sued the phone company because it was slowing down the data service on his phone. Spaccarelli has an ‘unlimited data’ plan, but as of this fall, AT&T had begun slowing download speeds for these subscribers if they use more than a certain amount of data in a month,” Svensson reports. “Spaccarelli argued that “unlimited is unlimited,” and the judge agreed at a hearing on Feb. 24.”

Svensson reports, “On Friday, the Dallas-based phone company said it was sending Spaccarelli a check for $850, plus $85 for court costs. Spokesman Mark Siegel didn’t elaborate on the company’s reasoning. AT&T has 17 million subscribers on ‘unlimited’ plans. It prohibits subscribers from seeking jury trials and from participating in class actions. Its right to limit subscribers’ legal options was upheld by the Supreme Court last year. The remaining options for subscribers seeking legal redress are small claims court and arbitration. Arbitration is usually covered by confidentiality agreements, so consumers can’t share tips about how to take on big companies. That doesn’t apply to small claims court, and Spaccarelli has posted his legal materials online.”

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