Apple to pay $40 per iPad 3G user to settle class action suit over revoked AT&T unlimited data plans

Posted:
in iPad edited January 2014
Some cellular-enabled iPad owners may soon receive a check from Apple, as a proposed joint settlement with AT&T looks to bring an end to a long-running class action suit over the cell provider's promise and ultimate cancellation of unlimited data.



A US district court judge in San Jose approved a proposed settlement from the two companies on Thursday, according to Law360. Under the proposed plan, Apple will pay $40 to everyone in the United States who bought or ordered a 3G-enabled iPad on or before June 7, 2010.

Additionally, cellular-enabled iPad owners who did not sign up with AT&T will get a $20 per month discount on the telecom's 5GB per month plan for up to a year.

The class action suit is looking to rectify an issue iPad buyers faced after purchasing the tablet. Some customers may have based their decision to buy at least in part on the promise of unlimited data through AT&T, which was the first U.S. carrier to offer the iPad with cellular capabilities. In a somewhat controversial move, the telecom nixed unlimited plans in 2010 in favor of a tiered model, citing bandwidth constraints.

At the time, data was capped at 2GB per month, but subscribers can now go as high as 5GB per month, which includes tethering to other devices. As a consolation to frustrated users, AT&T allows those unlimited data plans to continue their service as long as there is no break in payments. Device tethering is not offered for grandfathered all-you-can-eat plans and once a subscriber switches to a tiered option, they cannot return to unlimited.

The deal is subject to final approval, which is expected in February of 2014. At that point, Apple will begin contacting all eligible customers to inform them of their pending settlement check.

Those who no longer own their original iPad will still be eligible for the deal as long as they didn't sign on to an AT&T data plan with that device, due to a no-class action clause in the carrier's contracts.

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 69
    ...and this is Apple's fault, how?
  • Reply 2 of 69
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 6,687member
    I am at a loss. Why is Apple paying out instead of at&t? Isn't this a carrier issue pure and simple?
  • Reply 3 of 69
    jfc1138jfc1138 Posts: 3,090member
    Odd, I'd have thought that would have been AT&T's responsibility? It was their plan after all that they changed.
  • Reply 4 of 69
    So the no-class action clauses are actually valid?
  • Reply 5 of 69
    lkrupp wrote: »
    I am at a loss. Why is Apple paying out instead of at&t? Isn't this a carrier issue pure and simple?

    I'd think so.

    Unless Apple marketed the iPad + 3G as having unlimited data for $30/mo. without having a contract with AT&T that specified how long that plan would stay in effect.

    I don't recall their marketing specifics, but I do remember the ability to sign up for as little as a month at a time as a feature.
  • Reply 6 of 69
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,008member
    pendergast wrote: »
    ...and this is Apple's fault, how?

    See page 10 in the Scribd link at the bottom of the article.
  • Reply 7 of 69
    Personally, I'd accept the ability to resume my AT&T unlimited iPad data plan subscription. I'd pick up a new microSIM card right now and put it in my iPad mini.
  • Reply 8 of 69
    jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    gatorguy wrote: »
    See page 10 in the Scribd link at the bottom of the article.

    The only thing I see is that they alleged that the promise of unlimited data caused them to overpay for their iPad 3G. That, by itself, doesn't make it Apple's fault. Apple can not be held liable for an AT&T promise. If, OTOH, APPLE is the one who promised unlimited data, then Apple would be liable. It appears that the plaintiff was arguing that Apple did, indeed, make such a promise and Apple either agreed that they had made the promise or felt that it would cost more to fight it than to settle.
  • Reply 9 of 69
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,008member
    Personally, I'd accept the ability to resume my AT&T unlimited iPad data plan subscription. I'd pick up a new microSIM card right now and put it in my iPad mini.

    As their portion of the overall settlement ATT will give you $20 off a month on a 5GB 3G data plan for the next year. :\
  • Reply 10 of 69
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,008member
    jragosta wrote: »
    The only thing I see is that they alleged that the promise of unlimited data caused them to overpay for their iPad 3G. That, by itself, doesn't make it Apple's fault. Apple can not be held liable for an AT&T promise. If, OTOH, APPLE is the one who promised unlimited data, then Apple would be liable. It appears that the plaintiff was arguing that Apple did, indeed, make such a promise and Apple either agreed that they had made the promise or felt that it would cost more to fight it than to settle.

    Apple wasn't held to be liable. It was an Apple proposal that was accepted.
  • Reply 11 of 69
    Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

    See page 10 in the Scribd link at the bottom of the article.

     

    So page 10 of 30 page 10, page 4 of brief page 10, or page 10 of brief page 10?



    Be specific.

     

     

    Off topic: No one has mentioned this yet: I really like how Mavericks groups selections. That’s a long time coming.

     

    Even further off topic: I really hate how AI crashes every single time I edit a post since the software hasn’t been updated for Mavericks.

  • Reply 12 of 69
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,008member
    <span style="color:rgb(0,0,0);white-space:nowrap;"> </span>

    <span style="white-space:nowrap;">So page 10 of 30 page 10, page 4 of brief page 10, or page 10 of brief page 10?

    Page 10 of 30.
  • Reply 13 of 69
    Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

    Page 10 of 30.

     

    And that’d be…

     

    These four consolidated class actions were filed between June and November 2010. A Master Consolidated Complaint (“MCC”) was filed on December 10, 2010 on behalf of customers who purchased iPads with 3G capability (“iPad3G”) during the period when the product was first offered for sale. Plaintiffs alleged that defendants promoted flexible access to an “unlimited” 3G data plan, and then discontinued the unlimited plan soon after the initial wave of iPad3G purchases. Plaintiffs alleged that this conduct harmed them and the other proposed class members by: (a) causing them to overpay for their iPad3Gs; and (b) depriving them of promised access to an unlimited data plan. The MCC included claims for intentional misrepresentation, fraud/false promise, negligent misrepresentation, unjust enrichment, and violations of Cal. Civ. Code 1750


     

    This, I’m guessing. 

     

    Aaaaand it’s Apple’s fault that AT&T changed its plans… why?

  • Reply 14 of 69
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

     
    ven further off topic: I really hate how AI crashes every single time I edit a post since the software hasn’t been updated for Mavericks.


    Perhaps they are waiting for Mavericks to be released. You never know, it could be a flaw in Mavericks which might be fixed by the time it is released. Unless you have a working relationship with the OS development team it could very well be a waste of time to try to troubleshoot something that will be resolved on their end. Keep in mind that AI would have to contract Huddler to do the the recoding so it is best to wait. It is likely a Safari issue so in the meantime you could try a different browser to access AI. After all AI isn't crashing it is your computer. AI is still serving pages to those of us on stable OS releases.

  • Reply 15 of 69
    Woo hoo! I'm soon to be $40 richer!
  • Reply 16 of 69
    So when do i get my check?
  • Reply 17 of 69
    just bought today a mac book air so the $40.00 are vey welcome!!
  • Reply 18 of 69
    rhyderhyde Posts: 294member
    Well, I got the unlimited plan under the assumption that I could pay $30 for any month when I needed data. A month later they cancelled it. Fortunately, I got in under the wire -- I still have the unlimited plan. OTOH, I've had to keep that plan "hot" at $30/mo since then or lose it.
    Most I've used (watching videos) has been about 5 gig/mo, though that's largely because I have a 5 gig plan on my iPhone (gave up unlimited there to get tethering) which I tend to use up at the end of each month in order to "get my money's worth".

    I could bitch about the fact that I can't cancel my data plan. OTOH, I've used cellular data every month and I don't know if I could have gotten by without it for any particular month (came close a couple of times when I was out of the country for several weeks).

    FWIW, giving up unlimited data on the iPhone to get tethering was one of the best decisions I ever made. Particularly with the unlimited data plan on my iPad, I just don't use that much data on my phone -- except via tethering.

    OTOH, I won't turn away a $40 check if I get one :)
  • Reply 19 of 69
    pendergast wrote: »
    ...and this is Apple's fault, how?

    It was a selling point for the iPad and it lasted what 2 months, once AT&T decided to change the plan Apple should've interceded on behalf of its users.
  • Reply 20 of 69
    Aaaaand it’s Apple’s fault that AT&T changed its plans… why?

    Question is why did Apple do nothing when AT&T changed its plans. I can understand a year later but not even 2 months. They made SJ look like a liar.
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