AT&T rumored to be offering settlement to unlimited, throttled iPhone user

AT&T is reportedly offering a settlement to the individual who recently won a court case against them for the throttling his data service to an unlimited data plan a settlement. According to the Associated Press, Matthew Spaccarelli sent them a letter dated last Friday that he obtained from the law firm hired by AT&T to defend his small claims lawsuit. The letter stated that if he was not willing to sit down and "talk" his service would be terminated.

According to Spaccarelli, the reason for this particular letter (and alleged threat) is that AT&T wants him to keep quiet and sign a confidentialialty agreement. Legal settlements usually do include non-disclosure agreements, and Spaccarelli had blogged detailed information and instructions on how to engage in the same type of lawsuit against AT&T. Also in the letter was the request to keep quiet about the settlement talks, something Spaccarelli has no interest in doing, prompting him to send the letter to the Associated Press.

It seems like Spaccarelli may be pushing his luck here. He already has won the case and that may have helped persuade AT&T to increase the throttling cap from 2GB to the current 3GB, but now he's continuing to push the carriers buttons.

What do you think? Time to declare victory and let it go, or should he hound AT&T until the end of time?

Source: Associated Press, publikdemand, @matthewpacc

Jeremy

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Reader comments

AT&T rumored to be offering settlement to unlimited, throttled iPhone user

38 Comments

I'm going to Big Red, personally, KNOWING that there is a cap. Better coverage (both 3G and LTE), more reliable and you know what you're getting. I can suck up the lack of simultaneous voice and data (i don't really use data apps/safari while talking on the phone). I would imagine that Sprint would have to start looking at either throttling or implementing tiered data caps within a year.

My understanding is that LTE can do simultaneous voice and data so you might not be sacrificing much. I could be wrong on this though.

Any LTE phone can do simultaneous voice and data when it has an LTE connection.
The HTC Thunderbolt and Rezound can also do simultaneous voice and data over a 3G connection. They have SVDO technology built into the phone, which allows this.

More people need to do this. We live in a world now where "The Cloud" isn't going away. More and more of our services are becoming cloud based. Why is it that historically, technology becomes cheaper as time goes on, but AT&T (and other carriers) want to make it more expensive? If AT&T is whining now about bandwidth, how can they expect to keep up next year.. or the next.. or the next? Suck it up AT&T, get with the program.

Agreed, they brought this on to themselfs. This what you get when you screw your customers. If it wasn't for the iPhone, AT&T would have no following and this wouldn't be an issue.

AT&T has been "pushing our buttons" for years. Time for them to get some of theirs pushed back, see how they like it.

If I was him, I would start a website dedicated to educating the throttled on Exactly How To Sue AT&T and Win.
I would ask for contributions and also ask for stories of other users' reports on their own suits against them.
Forget Class-Action, Crowdsource Small Claims Suits.
He'd be a hero and I would gladly pay him for his efforts.

I got this text message yesterday:
ATT Free Msg: Your data usage has reached 3GB this month. Using more than 3GB in future billing cycles will result in reduced speeds. You can use Wi-Fi to help avoid reduced speeds. Visit www.att.com/datainfo or call 866-344-7584 for more info.
And, this was my reply:
If you reduce my speeds,I will take my $235 a month and go to Verizon or Sprint. Call xxx-xxx-xxxx(my number) for more info.
I've been a customer for 6 years, and find it ridiculous that they would consider slowing my service when I have an unlimited plan. They have had 4 opportunities to NOT renew the contract with me, and each time have extended it.

Unlimited has nothing to do with the speeds you get. Are they cutting off your data completely? No so quit bitching when you are still getting the same data just at slower speeds.

Boom! - You're evidently an AT&T employee troll.
Again, the FTC will stick it to them over the advertising evidence versus the printed terms and conditions. You can't con millions of people with ads.

AT&T should just write the check for $800 and be done with it. Why is a settlement needed?

they don't want him educating the public on how to sue them and win. He seems intent on doing this (good for him) and could potentially cost ATT a lot more money. If they can pay him off its in their best interest.

He should keep fighting. Now they want to shut him up with their big money. Threaten to stop his service. Not much of a threat their are many other providers these days. Now if they cancel his service and try to make it that it's his fault and put it on his credit report that would be a threat. But if something like that goes down he should fight. What griddy bastards. Big money trying to step on its customers who are trapped because of a 2 year contract. Changing the contracts while you are in the middle of the contract. And we can't change it when we feel like. *%ckin pisses me off.

He's pushing it for everybody else. I would have done the same thing! F%#k at&t bullying everybody.

AT&T thought they were untouchable, and could do whatever they wanted to gouge their customers, just because they had the iPhone.
1) Limited "unlimited" plans
2) Getting rid of all text messaging plans other than unlimited (or Pay-Per-Msg at $0.35 each) so that someone who send more than 55 messages is better off paying $20 for an unlimited plan
3) Charging extra to use Hotspot tethering when we should be able to use data up to our cap however we choose
Finally, they are starting to get what they deserve. I'm very interested in what he used to beat them, so I can do it myself. Keep pushing, Mark. You're becoming an underground hero!

I see no problem with Matthew Spaccarelli telling all of us how to get at&t to keep their word on unlimited data. Yes, at&t would LOVE for Matthew to sign a non-disclosure. But screw them.
We should ALL benefit from Matthew's lawsuit and use what he learned against at&t. I don't think it is pushing at&t's buttons to keep their word.

The settlement is going to be so small (since the damages are so small) that there is no reason for him to sign a confidentiality agreement.

Uhh, did your crystal ball tell you that AT&T won't offer him MORE money in a settlement, in exchange for confidentiality?

He should hound AT&T until the end of time. Actually AT&T deserve everything it gets. I am going to move to another carrier as soon as I can because of all their passive aggressive behavior. Spaccarelli for president.

Go to the CEO's friggin' summer home and bug the sh*t outta 'em. AT&T deserves as much bad press as is humanly possible. Their practices regarding this unlimited data issue is deplorable - they brought it on themselves.

Hound them into submission! I hope that the executives who are responsible for the throttling policy lose their jobs and never work in high level positions again. AT&T's policy is disingenuous, and they've broken trust with their customers. The company's tactics show nothing but contempt for their customers.

he is still getting unlimited data just not at top speeds, at&t never said you would get unlimited at full speed all the time. Sorry fools you are wrong may want to go check out your contract then come back here.

Prima facie evidence across millions of printed articles and hundreds of TV ads stated unlimited data and had the 3G logo. It did not have a * claiming speeds would be dropped at a certain point.
The FTC will stick it to them over the advertising evidence versus the printed terms and conditions. You can't con millions of people with ads.

Youre so outnumbered boom. Must be something wrong with your argument. Yes I'm sure there is.

Prima facie evidence across millions of printed articles and hundreds of TV ads stated unlimited data and had the 3G logo. It did not have a * claiming speeds would be dropped at a certain point.
The FTC will stick it to them over the advertising evidence versus the printed terms and conditions. You can't con millions of people with ads...

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