AT&T throttling unlimited data users starting at 2 GB per month based on location

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014


The story of an AT&T customer having his bandwidth throttled after transferring only 2 GB of a so-called unlimited data plan has created a maelstrom of press, and has forced the company to detail exactly how it handles the increasingly overwhelming demand for data.



The number two U.S. mobile carrier announced in October, 2011 that it would reduce the connection speed of the "top 5 percent" of unlimited data users, though recent complaints reveal that throttling can begin after only 2 GB which is well under the 3 GB "limited" plan that carries the same monthly cost.



According to The New York Times, John Cozen was among the first to be throttled, or have his data speed limited until the next billing cycle, after using only 2.1 GB of data.



Cozen posted an email exchange with AT&T's customer service that claimed he was in the top five percent of heavy data users, and thus would be throttled as per the company's new guidelines. He goes on to say that the rule is unfair given that the cost for AT&T's unlimited data plan is equal to the $30 per month tiered plan customers pay for 3 GB of bandwidth.



AT&T's unlimited data plan is a relic from the launch of the first iPhone, and customers who took advantage of the premium service were grandfathered in when the company axed the option in 2010 as it moved to a completely tiered system.



AT&T spokesman Mark Siegel said that, as of summer 2011, the top five percent of heaviest data users averaged 2 GB or more per month. He goes on to say that throttling is on a case-by-case basis, and that the limit varies on spectrum availability and data use from other customers.



Siegel's comments in an online support document on AT&T's website.











“There’s a very good chance you wouldn’t be slowed,” Siegel said, noting that less than one percent of customers were affected by the policy in January.



[ View article on AppleInsider ]

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 66
    Right, is there anything in the EULA that says they can't throttle? Anything at all? If there is, we can't do anything about this.



    If there isn't, I want a $100 billion class-action lawsuit and a ruling that makes it illegal to claim something is unlimited in any sort of bandwidth-related situation when it isn't.
  • Reply 2 of 66
    Yea but 1% of what? 1% of 1,000,000 phones would be a pretty large number of users affected.
  • Reply 3 of 66
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    They have the right, but that's extra weak considering Unlimited users are essentially paying for 3GB of metereed data anyway at $30/month. IOW, they should at least allow 3.1GB of usage because being jackasses.
  • Reply 4 of 66
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 9,018member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


    Right, is there anything in the EULA that says they can't throttle? Anything at all? If there is, we can't do anything about this.



    If there isn't, I want a $100 billion class-action lawsuit and a ruling that makes it illegal to claim something is unlimited in any sort of bandwidth-related situation when it isn't.



    If the blood sucking lawyers haven't figured it out by now there must be a reason such a lawsuit hasn't been filed yet. This is so blatant as to be truly stunning in its audacity.
  • Reply 5 of 66
    cameronjcameronj Posts: 2,357member
    Why do these unlimited users continue to complain and bang heads against the wall? Just switch to the damned 3GB plan, you're never going to be back in a situation where you get all the data you want while others pay for it. Go to 3GB, pay for your overages like an adult, and maybe even go outside and enjoy the sun.
  • Reply 6 of 66
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by cameronj View Post


    Why do these unlimited users continue to complain and bang heads against the wall? Just switch to the damned 3GB plan, you're never going to be back in a situation where you get all the data you want while others pay for it. Go to 3GB, pay for your overages like an adult, and maybe even go outside and enjoy the sun.



    Or AT&T can stop selling plans that they don't want you to use it. They want your money, but they don't actually want you to use any data..



    They force people into data plans that don't need them.. whatever it takes to milk everyone of more money.
  • Reply 7 of 66
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Synergi View Post


    Or AT&T can stop selling plans that they don't want you to use it. They want your money, but they don't actually want you to use any data..



    They force people into data plans that don't need them.. whatever it takes to milk everyone of more money.



    They stopped selling them awhile ago, now it's just those that are grandfathered in who get to keep them but they are doing everything in their power to make sure you don't want to keep them.
  • Reply 8 of 66
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by cameronj View Post


    Why do these unlimited users continue to complain and bang heads against the wall? Just switch to the damned 3GB plan, you're never going to be back in a situation where you get all the data you want while others pay for it. Go to 3GB, pay for your overages like an adult, and maybe even go outside and enjoy the sun.





    Yes very adult....Pay more for less...This isnt a loophole...This is what ATT offered people.
  • Reply 9 of 66
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by 1swift View Post


    Yes very adult....Pay more for less...This isnt a loophole...This is what ATT offered people.



    And per your contract they are giving you what they promised.
  • Reply 10 of 66
    jexusjexus Posts: 373member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


    Right, is there anything in the EULA that says they can't throttle? Anything at all? If there is, we can't do anything about this.



    If there isn't, I want a $100 billion class-action lawsuit and a ruling that makes it illegal to claim something is unlimited in any sort of bandwidth-related situation when it isn't.



    Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe arbitration is mentioned in AT&T's EULA



    If you are using their service there is a binding clause that explicitly prevents you from suing them or otherwise engaging in arbitration while on contract(at least).
  • Reply 11 of 66
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


    They stopped selling them awhile ago, now it's just those that are grandfathered in who get to keep them but they are doing everything in their power to make sure you don't want to keep them.



    Oh I know, I'm just saying, even when they sold them they moaned and whined about how it was all the data users that made their network suck. They will sell whatever gets them money, but they don't want you to use it.



    Remember the iPad offer, unlimited data for 30 a month that lasted a month or two.. Classic AT&T..



    Truthfully, I think its their plan to make people want to get the 3gig plan since its the same price. Then when 4g is everywhere, everyone will reach their caps much easier and faster, but they will have overages to keep AT&T happy.
  • Reply 12 of 66
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


    And per your contract they are giving you what they promised.



    Right...in a way.



    The signed contract does not speak on this issue. From what I recall theres nothing that says you get the best speed available for your device. however clearly this is somewhat shady on ATT and all the Wireless company's part because thats clearly whats eluded to in your contract. Theres no other clause that says you'd have purposefully reduced speeds.
  • Reply 13 of 66
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by 1swift View Post


    Right...in a way.



    The signed contract does not speak on this issue. From what I recall theres nothing that says you get the best speed available for your device. however clearly this is somewhat shady on ATT and all the Wireless company's part because thats clearly whats eluded to in your contract. Theres no other clause that says you'd have purposefully reduced speeds.



    I think they do specifically state that they don't promise such things. All they promise for the Unlimited plan is that they won't actually cap your limit so they won't stop your data usage, just slow it down.
  • Reply 14 of 66
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Synergi View Post


    Remember the iPad offer, unlimited data for 30 a month that lasted a month or two.. Classic AT&T..



    That was such a dick move. I think that hurt the iPad sales and can't imagine Apple was too happy with their decision after Jobs announced these plans by AT&T on stage.
  • Reply 15 of 66
    cameronjcameronj Posts: 2,357member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Synergi View Post


    Or AT&T can stop selling plans that they don't want you to use it. They want your money, but they don't actually want you to use any data..



    They force people into data plans that don't need them.. whatever it takes to milk everyone of more money.



    They're not selling the plans. They can't force you to quit it, so they're just making you look stupid for not making that decision for yourself.
  • Reply 16 of 66
    cameronjcameronj Posts: 2,357member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Synergi View Post


    Truthfully, I think its their plan to make people want to get the 3gig plan since its the same price. Then when 4g is everywhere, everyone will reach their caps much easier and faster, but they will have overages to keep AT&T happy.



    I guess that makes you a genius. When did you figure that one out?
  • Reply 17 of 66
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by cameronj View Post


    They're not selling the plans. They can't force you to quit it, so they're just making you look stupid for not making that decision for yourself.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by cameronj View Post


    I guess that makes you a genius. When did you figure that one out?



    Why are you being so harsh?
  • Reply 18 of 66
    cameronjcameronj Posts: 2,357member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


    Why are you being so harsh?



    Because I'm so sick and tired of all the moaning about this policy. I wish they'd vote with their wallet or shut the hell up. Hearing this stupidity over and over each time "news" hits about somebody else being throttled, the dummies come out of the woodwork.
  • Reply 19 of 66
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Synergi View Post


    Or AT&T can stop selling plans that they don't want you to use it. They want your money, but they don't actually want you to use any data..



    They force people into data plans that don't need them.. whatever it takes to milk everyone of more money.



    Bingo.



    I'm in this category too, and got the same message last month based on about 2.5Gb of usage. One of the reasons I jumped on board to begin with was because it was promoted as an unlimited plan. I wouldn't have forked over my cash if I had known they would renege on the agreement--that's why it's called an agreement.
  • Reply 20 of 66
    just_mejust_me Posts: 590member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by cameronj View Post


    Because I'm so sick and tired of all the moaning about this policy. I wish they'd vote with their wallet or shut the hell up. Hearing this stupidity over and over each time "news" hits about somebody else being throttled, the dummies come out of the woodwork.



    I know of a few people who set their phones to stream all day after they hit the throttle mark.



    At 100K kbs for 20 days (first 2 GB hit in 10 days) you can add 20 GB
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