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iPhone user wins $850 judgment in throttling case

Posted: , by Charlene S.

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iPhone user wins $850 judgment in throttling case
A source of a lot of contention from consumers these days is the practice of throttling, or slowing down data speeds after a certain data cap has been met, especially if the consumer is paying for an unlimited plan.

Matt Spaccarelli found that the data on his iPhone was being throttled by AT&T after a mere 1.5 to 2 GB a month, even though he was on an unlimited plan and AT&T’s new tiered plan of the same cost includes 3 GB of data a month. Spaccarelli decided that the best way to resolve this issue was to take AT&T to small claims court.

Judge Russell Nadel ruled in favor of Spaccarelli in Ventura Superior Court in Simi Valley and awarded him $85 dollars for each of the 10 months left on his contract for a total of $850.

While AT&T’s subscriber agreement specifically denies customers the right to pursue a class-action lawsuit, those willing to appear in person and prepare their own statements can take the communications giant to small claims court like Spaccarelli did.

Verizon and T-Mobile are also known to employ throttling on their networks, although to a lesser degree than AT&T. If enough people follow through and take AT&T to court it could be enough cost and bad press to force cellular provider’s hands into lightening their throttling policies, or remove them altogether.

Thanks to our tipster!

source: ABC News

13 Comments
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posted on 24 Feb 2012, 16:50 12

1. DigitalBoy05 (Posts: 202; Member since: 04 Jun 2011)


good for him.

posted on 24 Feb 2012, 18:05

5. downphoenix (Posts: 2329; Member since: 19 Jun 2010)


justice is served. Im surprised the court gave him as much as they did really since the Data is only $30 a month.

posted on 24 Feb 2012, 16:52

2. Cwebb (Posts: 501; Member since: 05 Oct 2011)


Go AT&T customers go! All 10 of you! Jk

posted on 24 Feb 2012, 17:03 9

3. joey18 (Posts: 520; Member since: 20 Jul 2010)


I hope more people suit att

posted on 24 Feb 2012, 17:19 11

4. Penny (Posts: 1158; Member since: 04 Feb 2011)


Throttling after only 1.5 - 2 GB is disgusting. If they want to continue to throttle customers, they should have HARD ground rules for it rather than saying "the top 5%" which forever remains unspecified and therefore keeps customers in the dark.

posted on 25 Feb 2012, 09:36

10. crysiswarmonger (Posts: 78; Member since: 06 Feb 2012)


You can have 2 or 4 gb a month on Verzion, which I want to switch to. I have Sprint now with unlimited, but the amount of data I can get over Sprints network is so slow... I tried as hard one month to see how much I could use (normal uses) and I only got about 2.3gb.

So your going to get 2-4 gb max a month for US based cell phones either by plan or performance. They smell $$$ charging you for data, even if you don't get it.

I should then get a rebate from them every month I do not use the full amount of data allotted to me.

I hate Sprints service, so that is why I am going to switch and I know the "unlimited" data is gone for me, but does not matter how cheap they are if it does not work...

posted on 25 Feb 2012, 12:24

11. cellgeek82 (Posts: 518; Member since: 20 Dec 2009)


I have unlimited on Verizon and I stayed off Wifi as much as possible to see what they'd do to me. 7.4 GB later I'm still getting full speed. On rare occasions (peak hours) it would slow down very little but most of the time got full bandwidth.

posted on 24 Feb 2012, 19:52

6. cncrim (Posts: 503; Member since: 15 Aug 2011)


I knew u can take them to court ..... but i have no case since I'm not on unlimit plan.

posted on 24 Feb 2012, 20:34 6

7. medicci37 (Posts: 627; Member since: 19 Nov 2011)


Still can't understand why people choose AT&T ?

posted on 25 Feb 2012, 12:29 1

12. cellgeek82 (Posts: 518; Member since: 20 Dec 2009)


Obviously lots of people like to waste money on crap. I tried AT&T and the main reason I left was "why am I paying money for this?!" I've had no problems with Verizon. Even Sprint does better than AT&T in most places.

Wake up folks! AT&T is just a big brand, a brand with bad quality! Don't pay money for garbage. You have a brain, use it.

posted on 24 Feb 2012, 20:38 3

8. daywalker (Posts: 4; Member since: 09 Feb 2012)


way to go! if i get throttled any way thats going to be my move!

posted on 25 Feb 2012, 03:53 1

9. networkdood (Posts: 6267; Member since: 31 Mar 2010)


Link to story:
http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/wireStory/judge-awards-iphone-user-850-throttling-case-15785182?page=2#.T0ivM_Hy-eZ

Apparently, his past average usage was around 5GB and he was 'illegally' tethering.

So, when the throttling came around it happened to be at two gigs.

Honestly, throttling someone for using 2GB is silly.
AT&T should just limit users to 5GB, as most unlimited users use around 2GB or 3GB.

posted on 25 Feb 2012, 23:44

13. W.P._Android_in_that_Order (Posts: 206; Member since: 15 Feb 2012)


Im glad u were able to shed light on the story. This makes much more sense, but i agree. They shouldnt be throttling at 1.5-2GB. They should just have it at an even 5GB

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