It is not often that a good ol’ citizen beats a big company in court. But being an angry, unemployed truck driver may very well do the trick. Matt Spacarelli was given $850 because his data had been throttled by AT&T, despite the fact that his contract agreement stated he was allowed unlimited downloading.
Spacarelli was not aiming low, though. He was asking for $10,000. This was declined by the judge, who instead decided to give him $85 per month, out of 10. But things are not as simple, and Matt may not bee seeing his money anytime soon (if at all).
AT&T has already stated that it will appeal the ruling. This means that the customer can’t collect his cash until the appeal is finalized. A judge from the same court will be able to listen to each side’s version of the story, but this time with lawyers.
This is where Ma Bell is ahead of the curve. A company like AT&T has lawyers to throw away, and Spacarelli may be in a bit of a disadvantage. Regardless, this is a small claims court in Simi Valley, CA. And the hearing is based on the same simple procedures. So our friend Matt is likely to still win.
If this happens, AT&T could also take things to the next level and ask for a hearing at a higher-level court. Such would really seem a bit extreme for a company like AT&T, though. We are sure the expenses of continuing this ordeal are much higher than $850.
But don’t go calling your lawyer just yet. As it seems like not everyone will be able to go and sue AT&T for this. Apparently, small claim courts can only create a class action suit, in which every customer can sue at once. In which case, it is not possible. AT&T has prohibited such actions, as per their customer contract.
Well isn’t that tricky, AT&T? We suppose Matt is the only one cashing in on this one. How many of you, AT&T folks, are getting throttled?