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  • You Too Can Sue AT&T Over Data Throttling, Here's Five Easy Steps

    Do this in the courtroom. Make sure to bring a lightsaber for the proper post courtroom victory celebration.


    If youíre sick of AT&T throttling the grand-fathered in unlimited data plan you plan on taking to the grave, hereís a five-step guide to taking AT&T to court.

    Courtesy of MacTech and Southern California attorney Bradley Sniderman, the guide will help those, if you feel so inclined, to sue AT&T in small claims court.

    Originally Posted by :
    1) Where to file ó most lawsuits, even those from small claims, need to be filed in the jurisdiction where the defendant can be found. In this case (and letís use AT&T), AT&T may have corporate offices in only a few locations, but since they are a nationwide phone company, they are usually subject to jurisdiction anywhere. What this means is that you can file your small claims suit in the courthouse most convenient to you.

    2) Make sure you have a copy of your contract, and please review the entire agreement. It may be a slow read, but you need to know the terms of it. You may be able to use these terms to show that AT&T does not have the right to slow your data speed.

    3) You need to be able to show that you have an unlimited data plan, which means you are entitled to unlimited data. You need to also show proof that AT&T had limited your data streaming. You next have to argue that AT&T has no right to charge you a fee for unlimited data, and then not supply it. It is not your fault that AT&T canít keep up with demand for data. If you can even show that you are using less data that some of the fixed rate plans, such as the 3 gigabyte plans, that is even better (fixed plans using more data than you use, but they are not being throttled back). Make sure you have been paying your bill on time and that you are not late, since that could be used against you.

    4) Make sure you have an amount for damages. You need to show how you were damaged by not having data streaming. This could be by showing lost business opportunities or showing how much you have paid for the service you never got.

    5) Be polite, and make sure you are prepared. The court will listen to you, but if you donít know what you are talking about, then your argument gets lost.

    The big thing here is to come prepared and do your homework. Also, do not under any circumstances harness your inner Tom Cruise a la A Few Good Men.

    Bigger picture thinking here, someone should start an on-line initiative to have data-throttling victims ban together and sue AT&T. However, most phone carriers include language in their contracts (you signed it without reading it remember?) that prohibit their users from filing a class action lawsuit. But, the playing field is leveled because you and AT&T are both barred from bringing attorneys to the proceedings. Also, make sure you havenít reached your yearly small claims court filing limit (the irony may be too much for the universe to handle).

    Itís just mano-a-mano in small claims court, and if youíre prepared, and donít throw-up all over yourself in front of the judge, youíre well executed revenge may just work...

    Source: MacTech
    This article was originally published in forum thread: You Too Can Sue AT&T Over Data Throttling, Here's Five Easy Steps started by Phillip Swanson View original post
    Comments 42 Comments
    1. malka_aria's Avatar
      malka_aria -
      thats good to know, I was really pissed when they threatened that they are going to reduce the speed

      oh cool I never could get the 1st post
    1. buttrr76's Avatar
      buttrr76 -
      That's good info as I was throttled today after hitting only 2gb of data in 2 weeks on my unlimited plan. So I got 14 days of .25 mb's down until then. I was on the phone 45 min with reps with no resolve.
    1. James Hall's Avatar
      James Hall -
      i lost all hope in att data usage thats why we got internet out here in bfe
    1. hogcia's Avatar
      hogcia -
      Ya att throttled my "unlimited" after just 2gb, what gives!!?? They are so desperate to get rid of unlimited, it's a joke what they can get away with!
    1. Ambi_Valence's Avatar
      Ambi_Valence -
      I'm not with AT&T, hell I'm not even American but I think this is great. Hopefully mobile airtime service providers and residential broadband providers the world over will remove the term unlimited unless they mean it.

      They should be forced to have there terms upfront and in plain english, (assuming that's the language you speak). At the very least if they are allowed to keep using the term, they should be made to have it less prominent than the term throttling.
      So where before, they could say No Limits and have a small asterisk meaning fair use applies, they should be made to emphasise ther throttling part and have the asterisk point to a line, in small print of course that says but you can avoid it if..........
    1. flightsim's Avatar
      flightsim -
      Kinda missed the part that a greater court prevented any class actions on this.
    1. alexevo's Avatar
      alexevo -
      Won't AT&T just argue that you're still getting unlimited data every month but that the rate at which you recieve that data is lowered?

      I.e. you're on unlimited. You're throttled but you finish out the month at 20gb used. The other guy isn't throttled but has the 2gb plan. He uses 20gb and pays overages on 18gb. You pay no fee for anything over 0gb because your plan is unlimited. Won't they argue that? Does the contract say you get unlimited data amounts not unlimited bandwidth. They are not the same.
    1. Superman199's Avatar
      Superman199 -
      I've already filed complaints with the BBB and FCC... maybe this will be next! I'm def gonna look into it

      i've already filed complaints with the FCC and BBB... maybe this is next... great article!
    1. The6uest's Avatar
      The6uest -
      I still want to see someone go after them for changing people from Unlimited to Tethered plans. This is a good start though..
    1. fishbone's Avatar
      fishbone -
      Urge people to go to court for little things like that is irresponsible and dangerous. Shame on you, Mr. Swanson!

      The judiciary system cost A LOT of money to work and should be used only as a last resort, to deal with things big enough to justify. If you're not satisfied with your service, the better and more effective way to remedy the situation is to change your provider.
    1. elyah's Avatar
      elyah -
      Quote Originally Posted by fishbone View Post
      Urge people to go to court for little things like that is irresponsible and dangerous. Shame on you, Mr. Swanson!

      The judiciary system cost A LOT of money to work and should be used only as a last resort, to deal with things big enough to justify. If you're not satisfied with your service, the better and more effective way to remedy the situation is to change your provider.
      so I'm being throttled by a company and I should spend $350 get myself out the contract to switch companies which other companies will probably do the same Will you give me the $350? not my fault I am honoring my part they need to honor their part of the contract these corporate companies are a joke. shame on you Mr big corporate Fishbone!
    1. stylth's Avatar
      stylth -
      Quote Originally Posted by fishbone View Post
      Urge people to go to court for little things like that is irresponsible and dangerous. Shame on you, Mr. Swanson!

      The judiciary system cost A LOT of money to work and should be used only as a last resort, to deal with things big enough to justify. If you're not satisfied with your service, the better and more effective way to remedy the situation is to change your provider.

      But isn't that what the purpose of having small claims court?

      I know if there are enough people suing ATT they'll either change the term of the contract in their favor, or better yet, stop the practice of throttling & actually upgrade their network infrastructure
    1. mr117's Avatar
      mr117 -
      Quote Originally Posted by fishbone View Post
      Urge people to go to court for little things like that is irresponsible and dangerous. Shame on you, Mr. Swanson!

      The judiciary system cost A LOT of money to work and should be used only as a last resort, to deal with things big enough to justify. If you're not satisfied with your service, the better and more effective way to remedy the situation is to change your provider.
      What? Who cares!? That is the judiciary's problem. Rights are rights, whether for one person or many. The purpose of the judicial branch is to protect the people's rights. The Bill of Rights does not say, "well, these rights only apply when there is a critical mass." Your argument has no logic.

      When I was 19 I refused induction into the Army for religious reasons, and the U.S. took me to court (1966). I was alone at the start, and in court there were only a hundred of us. It cost whatever it cost. By 1969 there were tens of thousands doing the same thing. It cost whatever it cost. Eventually, the war was ended. What if I (and the other hundred) hadn't stepped forward?

      A journey starts with a single step. The journey against AT&T has started.
    1. Pepsolman's Avatar
      Pepsolman -
      I believe I'm getting throttled, and I'm on a limited 2 GB plan. What now?
    1. steve-z17's Avatar
      steve-z17 -
      Quote Originally Posted by fishbone View Post
      Urge people to go to court for little things like that is irresponsible and dangerous. Shame on you, Mr. Swanson!

      The judiciary system cost A LOT of money to work and should be used only as a last resort, to deal with things big enough to justify. If you're not satisfied with your service, the better and more effective way to remedy the situation is to change your provider.
      We shouldn't have to switch providers, they should be living up to what they say! They shouldn't advertise blazing Unlimited 4G or 3G speeds then throttle you to an unusable speed after you've reached a certain amount of data! I understand controlling speeds if the network is congested but a lot of these people are being throttled after reaching 2GB and the network isn't congested! I think people should be using small claims to show AT&T that there are people willing to fight against them on this.
    1. elyah's Avatar
      elyah -
      Quote Originally Posted by steve-z17 View Post
      We shouldn't have to switch providers, they should be living up to what they say! They shouldn't advertise blazing Unlimited 4G or 3G speeds then throttle you to an unusable speed after you've reached a certain amount of data! I understand controlling speeds if the network is congested but a lot of these people are being throttled after reaching 2GB and the network isn't congested! I think people should be using small claims to show AT&T that there are people willing to fight against them on this.
      +1 well said obviously mr corporate Fishbone has not been throttled.
    1. cmwade77's Avatar
      cmwade77 -
      Quote Originally Posted by alexevo View Post
      Won't AT&T just argue that you're still getting unlimited data every month but that the rate at which you recieve that data is lowered?

      I.e. you're on unlimited. You're throttled but you finish out the month at 20gb used. The other guy isn't throttled but has the 2gb plan. He uses 20gb and pays overages on 18gb. You pay no fee for anything over 0gb because your plan is unlimited. Won't they argue that? Does the contract say you get unlimited data amounts not unlimited bandwidth. They are not the same.
      But, that is not what unlimited means...unlimited by definition is without restrictions. This is a restriction as is limiting your ability to tether.
    1. buttrr76's Avatar
      buttrr76 -
      I have been talking to att for 2 days now. i was throttled because in my network area i am the highest user of 2gb in under 2 weeks of use. the rep told me it is an automated system that does it by your area code. I asked her if she could tell me what the network average in my area is and she could not come up with that information. So... i asked how do i know that your computer system is not throttling me in error and the system is incorrect. best part was when i asked if someone could unthrottle me and she said no one in att could do that because it is an automated system... so i was like your telling this computer programs it self and that no one can change its settings and rep was like "yes". in rage" i asked if ceo of att got throttled that he could not change it" att " no its an automated system"
    1. hitman10's Avatar
      hitman10 -
      Id say this would be your best way. But wouldnt it make more sense to make one big lawsuit instead of a whole bunch of little small ones. Or are there so many thats just not possible.
    1. buttrr76's Avatar
      buttrr76 -
      my throttled speeds are ping 149 ms download .17mbps upload 1.06 mbps