In the midst of patent wars and court pandemonium, we have a small win for the consumer. Last month, AT&T lost in a small claims court in California against Matt Spacarelli. AT&T was all set for appealing the ruling, but it seems it have decided to skip all of that and just pay up.
Spacarelli has received a check for $935, as Simi Valley, CA judge has found Ma Bell’s throttling practices to be against its terms of service. But what most upset customers was not the throttling. It was the fact that they were being throttled after using too little data.
Users have been reporting slower data speeds after using 2 GB or less in a month. Tiered data plan subscribers are never throttled, and have the option to pay the exact same amount for a 3 GB data plan. Gradfathered unlimited data users feel like this is unfair of AT&T.
AT&T claims that only the top 5% heavy users get throttled. So everything changes in a monthly basis. But this represents a great victory, and proves one of the following: Either AT&T just doesn’t feel like dealing with this, or they know their approach is unfair and has decided to just pay the customer.
Regardless, AT&T has recently decided to set “limits,” instead. A change that was made due to customers requesting more transparency regarding the matter. Now, users will only be throttled after crossing the 3 GB threshold. 4G LTE users are the exception, as they will be able to go up to 5 GB.
This change could be AT&T’s way of avoiding more lawsuits. Meaning a regular Joe like Spacarelli was able to walk away with a victory, not only for himself, but for all AT&T customers. After getting his check, Matt has decided to use the money to cancel the contract. He is now with Straight Talk, which offers unlimited everything for $45.