After royally screwing their customers out of the service they thought they were paying for, the FCC has fined AT&T $100 million dollars for being blatantly dishonest with their "ultimate data plan". Unbeknownst to the customers, after they reached past 3G or 4G data during their regular cycle (depending on which service they already have), their data speeds would actually be slowed down, robbing the customer of better service. The unfortunate part is AT&T neglected to tell their customers. What a bunch of a**holes.
"Consumers deserve to get what they pay for," said FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler in a statement. "Broadband providers must be upfront 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."
This is nothing new for AT&T customers, with the company actually haulting the unlimited data plan offer to customers in 2009. AT&T had figured out a way to "throttle" a users phone speed after they used a certain about of data during their billing cycle, only to have the throttling to stop once a new billing cycle began, allowing the customer to receive the full service they thought they were receiving the whole time. So if you've had an unlimited data plan with AT&T, you've been getting REAMED, people.
However, AT&T is saying they plan to fight the fine. They say that the FCC has allowed this avenue of managing network resources, and stated that other phone companies actually do the same by throttling customers' unlimited data plans after hitting a certain limit.
"We will vigorously dispute the FCC's assertions," said Emily Edmonds, spokeswoman for AT&T. "The FCC has specifically identified this practice as a legitimate and reasonable way to manage network resources for the benefit of all customers, and has known for years that all of the major carriers use it. We have been fully transparent with our customers, providing notice in multiple ways and going well beyond the FCC's disclosure requirements."
The FCC made their point pretty clear. "Unlimited means unlimited." Booyah!