FCC slaps AT&T with $100 million fine for throttling unlimited data plans

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Comments

  • Reply 21 of 48
    I've been with ATT since the first iPhone. The "unlimited" service I contracted for was summarily throttled a couple of years ago. They seem to feel that the fact that they "informed" me they were breaking our contract gets them off the hook. Sleaze balls.

    I'm sure they posted a "public" hearing about the change on some obscure webpage that required that you attend a town hall meeting between 3:00am-5:00am on a particular day in some small town in East Texas that no one has ever heard of with a population of less than 1000.
  • Reply 22 of 48
    fallenjtfallenjt Posts: 4,044member

    Why only $100 M? Should've been $1B. It's like to go to Buffet and you can only eat little bit of foods at a time.

  • Reply 23 of 48
    roakeroake Posts: 783member

    But, but... Throttling doesn't mean it's not Unlimited!  For example, if they throttle you to 1 byte per day, the data would still NEVER ACTUALLY STOP - it would just be slower than hell!  See?  1 byte per day would still be "unlimited" since it doesn't actually stop! (At least, the way AT&T and all of their apologists portray it - they still call it "unlimited" because they can't count very high).

     

    Where they actually made their critical mistake was early on, when the accounts with 5GB data caps were actually FAR LESS limited than the "Unlimited" accounts.  Even the FCC is bright enough to realize that "Unlimited" accounts should be less limited than the "Limited" accounts.

     

    When I took out that plan in July 2007, AT&T said "unlimited" meant unlimited!  Now, damned evil corporation says, "I have altered the deal!  Pray I do not alter it further!"

     

     

    Burn em all!

  • Reply 24 of 48
    roakeroake Posts: 783member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by techno View Post

     



    This is an example of how regulations can be a good thing. 


     

    Maybe 1 in 10,000 regulations actually help anyone other than the government.  At some point in the past, regulations existed to protect the citizen.  For decades, however, the focus has shifted to passing regulations to take away from citizens as the government moves toward "sharing the wealth" among every citizen.  There is a term for that form of government... somehow, it slips my mind.

     

    After enough regulation, everyone will be equally wealthy.  Of course, that also means everyone will be equally poor.

     

    After all, why should people who went to school for an extra decade to get their Doctorate and other advanced degrees be entitled to make more than a high-school dropout?  Why should a physician that has to make split-second decisions that means the difference between life and death earn any more than the "undocumented" worker who pulls feathers out of chickens at Tyson?

     

    /rant

  • Reply 25 of 48
    boltsfan17boltsfan17 Posts: 2,293member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by TBell View Post





    No you couldn't have. It's part of your contract with AT&T. It forces you to agree to mediation. AT&T pays for the mediator. Who do you think is going to win?.



    Wrong. Yes I could have. The contract does say mediation, but there is a provision that allows you to take AT&T to small claims court. Customers have already been successful in small claims court against AT&T for throttling. 

  • Reply 26 of 48
    ebcdicebcdic Posts: 4member
    A One Billion dollar fine would actually make AT&T go , "Ouch". Then they might have listened.
  • Reply 27 of 48
    eriamjheriamjh Posts: 1,366member
    I want my cut of the $100 million. Those bastards throttled me and I want to throttle them.
  • Reply 28 of 48
    shenshen Posts: 434member
    Up it to 100 billion and divide the money between ppl who had unlimited plans, then I will be impressed.
  • Reply 29 of 48
    spock1234spock1234 Posts: 128member
    OK, OK.... maybe Wheeler is NOT a Dingo after all ... But, seriously, this is great news.

    The next step would be to ask the internet monopolies to pay back the billions in subsidies they got for their so-called 'Title 2' networks or 'open-up' the last mile for other internet providers like real Title 2 should. Ending the high-speed internet monopolies is the only way to get a truly open and competitive marketplace.
  • Reply 30 of 48
    sdw2001sdw2001 Posts: 17,853member

    You do realize the "fine" (whatever it amounts to after AT&T appeals this, of course) will be folded into price increases for customers eventually? Companies don't absorb these costs, they pass them on to their customers.

    in principle I agree. Not sure they'd be able to pass on a one time judgement that easily. Either way, I just think it's funny, because ATT sucks.
  • Reply 31 of 48
    sdw2001sdw2001 Posts: 17,853member
    roake wrote: »
    But, but... Throttling doesn't mean it's not Unlimited!  For example, if they throttle you to 1 byte per day, the data would still NEVER ACTUALLY STOP - it would just be slower than hell!  See?  1 byte per day would still be "unlimited" since it doesn't actually stop! (At least, the way AT&T and all of their apologists portray it - they still call it "unlimited" because they can't count very high).

    Where they actually made their critical mistake was early on, when the accounts with 5GB data caps were actually FAR LESS limited than the "Unlimited" accounts.  Even the FCC is bright enough to realize that "Unlimited" accounts should be less limited than the "Limited" accounts.

    When I took out that plan in July 2007, AT&T said "unlimited" meant unlimited!  Now, damned evil corporation says, "I have altered the deal!  Pray I do not alter it further!"


    Burn em all!

    That's what bothers me too. I don't see why they even need to grandfather us at this point. Just stop offering the plans when people upgrade. But making "unlimited" in effect limited is why they got nailed.
  • Reply 32 of 48
    spock1234spock1234 Posts: 128member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Roake View Post

     

     

    Maybe 1 in 10,000 regulations actually help anyone other than the government.  At some point in the past, regulations existed to protect the citizen.  For decades, however, the focus has shifted to passing regulations to take away from citizens as the government moves toward "sharing the wealth" among every citizen.  There is a term for that form of government... somehow, it slips my mind.

     

    After enough regulation, everyone will be equally wealthy.  Of course, that also means everyone will be equally poor.

     

    After all, why should people who went to school for an extra decade to get their Doctorate and other advanced degrees be entitled to make more than a high-school dropout?  Why should a physician that has to make split-second decisions that means the difference between life and death earn any more than the "undocumented" worker who pulls feathers out of chickens at Tyson?

     

    /rant


     

    Holy Strawman Batman!! Where in the world does a 'chicken plucker' makes as much as a PhD? How many high-school dropouts that make more than a Medical Doctor? And, what does the government have to do with their wages?

     

    If you don't like 'regulations' you are welcome to work 14 hour days in an unventilated asbestos factory for pennies. You are also free to breathe the exhaust from coal-burning plants and drink water contaminated with fracking chemicals. 

     

    Stop your whining and let the forum return to the topic of the article. 

  • Reply 33 of 48
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

    The Federal Communications Commission on Wednesday announced its intent to levy a $100 million fine against AT&T after finding that the wireless carrier mislead customers about its throttling of data plans that were advertised as being unlimited.

     

    I don’t agree with this. Unlimited data does not mean unlimited bandwidth, nor were they promised a set speed without throttling.

     

    I also don’t agree with caps or throttling. It’s just a matter of the definition of words. If corporations can’t pretend that words don’t mean what they actually mean, then neither can courts. That’s just mental illness.

  • Reply 34 of 48
    vmarksvmarks Posts: 760editor

    Throttling after a set amount of data has been used, a threshold that is crossed, a limit on the amount of full-speed data... is less than unlimited.

     

    That's really what's under discussion here, is, can ATT prevaricate on the definition of unlimited, and if they can limit full-speed data with a throttle, then why can't they also limit usage habits in other ways (no FaceTime over their data, for example?)

     

    I agree that those aren't the same, but they are both limitations on a service that was sold as unlimited. Adding terms to it like throttling changes the terms of the plan. The unlimited data plans were sold at the time as unlimited for any use and any amount of data. Throttling wasn't in the terms at the time. When I bought my unlimited ATT data plans, it was in 2007, and we kept them through the release of iPhone 5, when ATT was declaring that unlimited plans wouldn't get LTE or FaceTime calling. ATT's excuse at the time was that unlimited only applied to the 2G and 3G level of service that we'd been getting thus far. 

  • Reply 35 of 48
    cm477cm477 Posts: 95member
    Since I was going to move to a family plan, I sold my AT&T unlimited plan on Ebay. The AT&T rep recommended it!
  • Reply 36 of 48
    sdw2001sdw2001 Posts: 17,853member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by spock1234 View Post

     

     

    Holy Strawman Batman!! Where in the world does a 'chicken plucker' makes as much as a PhD? How many high-school dropouts that make more than a Medical Doctor? And, what does the government have to do with their wages?

     

    If you don't like 'regulations' you are welcome to work 14 hour days in an unventilated asbestos factory for pennies. You are also free to breathe the exhaust from coal-burning plants and drink water contaminated with fracking chemicals. 

     

    Stop your whining and let the forum return to the topic of the article. 


     

    He's not really using a strawman, just more of an exaggeration.  I think you're missing the overall point, though I agree he's off topic.  As for your rant, are you honestly suggesting that without government regulations, your description of work conditions would occur?  In today's market?  I'm not arguing against all regulation, mind you.  I'm just asking.  

  • Reply 37 of 48
    sdw2001sdw2001 Posts: 17,853member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

     

     

    I don’t agree with this. Unlimited data does not mean unlimited bandwidth, nor were they promised a set speed without throttling.


     

    I suppose that's true, though I think the larger point is that the threat of extreme data throttling essentially makes "unlimited" meaningless. If I can't reasonably use my "unlimited" plan beyond 5Gb a month, it's not unlimited in reality.  

     


    Quote:


    I also don’t agree with caps or throttling. It’s just a matter of the definition of words. If corporations can’t pretend that words don’t mean what they actually mean, then neither can courts. That’s just mental illness.


     

    Well, courts haven't for a long time, actually.  

  • Reply 38 of 48
    uxqatomuxqatom Posts: 15member
    You do realize the "fine" (whatever it amounts to after AT&T appeals this, of course) will be folded into price increases for customers eventually? Companies don't absorb these costs, they pass them on to their customers.

    Right, I mean, why should AT&T have to pay for their illegal actions and bad behavior. It's the customers fault for choosing the unlimited data contract and then thinking they could use more then 3 or 5 gigs of data. So, logically, customers that didn't even cause the problem should be stuck paying the fine.
  • Reply 39 of 48
    sdw2001sdw2001 Posts: 17,853member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Uxqatom View Post





    Right, I mean, why should AT&T have to pay for their illegal actions and bad behavior. It's the customers fault for choosing the unlimited data contract and then thinking they could use more then 3 or 5 gigs of data. So, logically, customers that didn't even cause the problem should be stuck paying the fine.

     

    You don't seem to get his point (which was made in response to me, by the way).  He's saying not just that AT&T will pass on the cost, but ALL companies of every kind pass on costs.  That's the nature of business.  

  • Reply 40 of 48
    uxqatomuxqatom Posts: 15member
    sdw2001 wrote: »
    You don't seem to get his point (which was made in response to me, by the way).  He's saying not just that AT&T will pass on the cost, but ALL companies of every kind pass on costs.  That's the nature of business.  

    So is it in the best interest of the consumer to not fine businesses? I'm not, per se, being sarcastic this time. I mean, if fines just ultimately punish the consumer, instead of the business. What is the point of them.
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