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FTC Nails TracFone for $40M Over False Advertising

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Jan 28, 2015, 12:35 PM   by Eric M. Zeman

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.

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Jan 28, 2015, 4:37 PM

Throttled is still unlimited

This is a bunch of crap.

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?
i dont believe that was the point, yes every carrier throtles but the way that they did it is what aused them to have to pay, plus it wasnt just throttling some were cut off completely.

the about the ine print i have a problem with because everyon...
It is ridiculous, it's not even a question of reading the fine print, it is bothering to read at all. Next to the word 'unlimited' is an asterix, which if you follow it says '3 GB of high speed data and then 2G speeds for the rest of the billing cycl...
I don't think you understand what Unlimited means.

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 unlimite...

Jan 28, 2015, 6:00 PM

Are they going to fine Everybody?

Nearly Everyone throttles data for high users these days and has been for years now.
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?
The issue is that they advertised UNLIMITED DATA and didn't state they were throttling and at what amount of data use it started to throttle. On top of that, their were customers that had data cut off all together, which is even worse considering the...

Jan 29, 2015, 5:56 PM

Hey Everybody!

Carlos Slim can afford it!!!
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