FCC to Fine AT&T $100 million Over Data Practices, Misleading Customers

The FCC is planning to sue AT&T for apparently misleading consumers about data plan services. File Photo by Rob Wilson/Shutterstock
The FCC is planning to sue AT&T for apparently misleading consumers about data plan services. File Photo by Rob Wilson/Shutterstock

The Federal Communications Commission will fine telecommunications company AT&T $100 million for apparently misleading consumers about unlimited wireless data plans.

AT&T apparently sold unlimited data plans to costumers but then capped and slowed their data speed after customers used a set amount of data each billing cycle. The company continued this practice without telling the consumer, according to the FCC.

“Consumers deserve to get what they pay for,” FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler said in a statement. “Broadband providers must be up front and transparent about the services they provide. The FCC will not stand idly by while consumers are deceived by misleading marketing materials and insufficient disclosure.”

The FCC received thousands of complaints from consumers of AT&T’s unlimited data plan since 2011. The company responded by stating it slowed down the speeds of some users who used data heavily to make sure services ran adequately.

The company also asserted it was “fully transparent” with customers.

“We will vigorously dispute the FCC’s assertions,” AT&T spokesman Michael Balmoris said in a statement. “The FCC has specifically identified this practice as a legitimate and reasonable way to manage network resources for the benefit of all customers.”

SOURCE: UPI – Andrew V. Pestano