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AT&T offers to settle in data throttling case, Mark Spaccarelli says no

Posted: , by Daniel P.

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AT&T offers to settle in data throttling case, Mark Spaccarelli says no
Remember Mark Spaccarelli who was awarded $85 a month in compensation by the small claims court for each of the 10 months AT&T was throttling his data usage?

Well, after he went public with the whole ordeal, AT&T got uneasy that the verdict will set one unpleasant precedent or plant ideas in the heads of other throttled users which were promised unlimited data when they signed, and apparently offered out-of-court settlement to the guy.

The precedent could very well lead to a class action lawsuit that will see AT&T's lawyers tied up explaining why the advertised unlimited data is not truly unlimited. The settlement talks are allegedly bound by a non-disclosure agreement, as they most often are in such cases, so that Mark gets some money out of AT&T, but the NDA will keep him mum about the issue in the future. 

Mark Spacarelli tethered the data from his iPhone to other devices, which, after all, is in violation of his contract with AT&T, so the settlement offer might have some merit, but  actually forwarded the offer letter to the Associated Press, apparently determined to fight to the end.

source: AP

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posted on 14 Mar 2012, 07:11 1

1. ibap (Posts: 675; Member since: 09 Sep 2009)


Where I see this heading is in the direction of limited-term contracts. Sign up for your 2 years, with rate only guaranteed for that long. Re-sign at the end or watch your rate jump. That'll be the end of hanging on to old, cheap, contracts.

My cable/internet bill recently jumped $25/month. When I called, they told me the promo I had signed up for had expired, but if I signed on for another year, it would go back to what it was. So I did. At least in that case, I kept the rate. But I'm betting that wouldn't happen with cell contracts.

posted on 14 Mar 2012, 08:07 4

2. Das70 (Posts: 124; Member since: 05 Jan 2011)


I agree. I am sure they will also get people who are in grandfathered contracts out of those as well. For example: You can have the iphone 5 but you wont be grandfathered in. So yeah the time is coming. This is what happens when people like Mark Spacarelli abuse their contract and tether. Hes at fault here aso.

posted on 14 Mar 2012, 11:06 1

5. downphoenix (Posts: 2232; Member since: 19 Jun 2010)


yes, because they should be able to determine how we use our data. That's just stupid. That's like the movie companies trying to determine what you can do with a movie you legitimately bought from them. Yes, you shouldnt distribute pirated copies to people, that makes sense. But that doesnt mean I dont have the right to make my own copy, and have a digital copy that I can watch on other devices. Data with phones should be the same. If I want to use the data to tether to my laptop or tablet, I should have every right. However, if I abuse it by running a web server off this, then I am in the wrong.

posted on 14 Mar 2012, 12:56

6. hybris (Posts: 56; Member since: 05 Dec 2011)


"yes, because they should be able to determine how we use our data. That's just stupid." You agreed to it when you signed up, so yes they should. You did legitimately buy it from them, but on their terms. I see where you're coming from, but when you sign a contract you really have no power to alter it, so you're a prisoner of your own creation at this point.

posted on 14 Mar 2012, 08:09 6

3. arcq12 (Posts: 733; Member since: 13 Oct 2011)


US carriers are scumbags and greedy.

posted on 14 Mar 2012, 11:03

4. TKFox007 (Posts: 303; Member since: 02 Nov 2010)


This really is the fault of both parties, If the guy never tethered without the feature, he wouldn't of been throttled. If AT&T didn't throttle at 2gigs to force people to go to the 3gig tiered plan they wouldn't be looking like greedy idiots, and if they spent their money on building infrastructure from all those iPhone sales for the first 3 years their network wouldn't be in the terrible shape that it's in.

posted on 14 Mar 2012, 13:24 1

7. -box- (Posts: 3566; Member since: 04 Jan 2012)


They guy was using his phone for throttling without paying for the throttling feature. AT&T shouldn't give this guy a cent. It's folks like that who caused the carrier to institute throttling in the first place

posted on 15 Mar 2012, 14:27

8. spoonb1 (Posts: 77; Member since: 02 Jan 2010)


so his argument is that he got throttled or that he lost his data... the plan is unlimited, he was slowed down, sure, but he wasn't cut off... so he was still allowed to keep using data, albeit at a slower rate. so where exactly is the case? that he was upset for being slowed down, because he was, by terms of his contract agreement, not paying for the tethering feature and therefore doing so 'illegally'... I think the whole throttling this is stupid--let's further burden the network by keeping people attached to it for longer periods because their speed was decreased-- as well as having to add on the extra expense to be allowed the 'luxury' of using data, the same data as what would be used on the phone, on other devices... if we have a data allocation and we stay within it, who cares how it is used? i think this guy is an entitled idiot and is not owed a cent... however glad this was brought up which indirectly may have been what led att to alter and clarify its throttling parameters.

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