AT&T could face lawsuits over customer data plans

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by CYNTHIA VEGA

WFAA

Posted on February 27, 2012 at 10:23 AM

Updated Monday, Feb 27 at 12:05 PM

DALLAS — Dallas-based AT&T is facing the potential for thousands of lawsuits this morning.

Smartphone customers who have unlimited usage plans are fighting back after they say they have been "throttled."
   
Five percent of smartphone users who have unlimited service plans with AT&T are affected by the practice of "throttling."  It happens when these customers try to surf the Web on their phones and find the process is painfully slow. Video-streaming is not even possible.

Only texting and calling are unaffected.
  
Some of these same callers said they are surprised to learn they're "throttled" after using less than half the data allotted to those on limited data plans.

AT&T sends a warning message to users informing them they are about to be throttled.
 
AT&T said it reserves the right to modify or cancel a customer's contract if it adversely affects its network. As more people buy smartphones and use them to access the Web, it is reportedly putting a strain on AT&T's network.
  
An AT&T customer in California took the company to court over the matter and won a settlement of $850 in small claims court.

Customers are unable to pursue a class action lawsuit against AT&T due to a clause in the customer contracts.

E-mail cvega@wfaa.com

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