FTC Nails TracFone for $40M Over False Advertising
TracFone has agreed to pay customers $40 million to reimburse them for what the FTC labeled as deceptive advertising. From 2009 to 2013, TracFone advertised "unlimited data" plans for $45 per month. Despite the promise of unlimited monthly data, TracFone throttled customers who surpassed 3GB of data and cut off entirely some customers who surpassed 5GB of data. "The issue here is simple: when you promise consumers 'unlimited,' that means unlimited," said Jessica Rich, director of the FTC's Bureau of Consumer Protection. TracFone began to disclose the data limits and throttling policies in 2013, but the FTC said, "In many cases, the disclosures were in very small print or on the back of packages or cards where consumers were likely to miss them." Millions of customers were throttled, according to the FTC. TracFone will refund an unknown number of customers $40 million and more clearly spell out its network management policies.
TracFone Settles with FCC Over Locked Phones
TracFone has reached an agreement with the FCC concerning its policies for unlocking handsets. In February of this year it became mandatory for all carriers to unlock customer handsets and to properly disclose their unlocking policies to customers.
FTC Gets Second Shot Against AT&T Over Throttling Case
The FTC has earned another chance to prove AT&T illegally throttled customers' data speeds. An appeals court this week reinstated the FTC's case against AT&T, which was originally dismissed last summer.
AT&T Can't Use 'Common Carrier' Label to Escape FTC Suit
A federal judge squashed AT&T's attempt to dismiss a lawsuit filed against it by the FTC. The FTC sued AT&T in October over throttling policies for "unlimited data" customers.
Sprint Agrees to Settle FTC Charges for $2.95M
Sprint will pay the Federal Trade Commission a fine of $2.95 million for failing to properly disclose extra monthly fees billed to customers with lower credit scores. Between November 2013 and June 2014, Sprint enrolled customers with inferior credit scores in the Account Spending Limit (ASL) program — and added a $7.99 monthly fee on top of their standard service charges.
Throttled is still unlimited
Carriers should be allowed to throttle if they feel they need to in order to keep enough bandwidth open for all their customers. The cable companies do this.
This throttling shouldn't be a surprise if people actually read their service agreements.
Are they not getting unlimited data? just a little slower?
Why is it TracFone's fault people don't read?
the about the ine print i have a problem with because everyon...
un·lim·it·ed adjective \-ˈli-mə-təd\
: without any limits or restrictions
: not limited in number or amount
So that means that any company at all that advertises unlimited internet is ...
Are they going to fine Everybody?
Much like Premium Text message scams, they are years late to the party, but it all seems more like cash grab by the .gov, seeing how the people that were impacted get so little.
So if they are gonna fine one, they should fine them all.
Like the Premium SMS scam, did they ever hit Verizon with that fine yet or did their lobbyists grease that wheel enough to get a pass?