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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 you’re sick of AT&T throttling the grand-fathered in unlimited data plan you plan on taking to the grave, here’s 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 — most lawsuits, even those from small claims, need to be filed in the jurisdiction where the defendant can be found. In this case (and let’s 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 can’t 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 don’t 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 haven’t reached your yearly small claims court filing limit (the irony may be too much for the universe to handle).

    It’s just mano-a-mano in small claims court, and if you’re prepared, and don’t throw-up all over yourself in front of the judge, you’re 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. BOYD's Avatar
      BOYD -
      they throttled me for a month (i was given a notice via text) , but then they changed my plan without a notice! From Grandfathered unlimited data to 4 gig month plan ($15 more a month)....... found out when i got a text alert iv'e never received before saying i have used 75% of my data for the month.
    1. GeoffS4's Avatar
      GeoffS4 -
      Excellent info, however, can someone or people provide some answers to the following:

      1) Best option(s) for determining throttling?
      ---I am aware of the popular app "Speed Test".
      ---Is this the "best" or recommended method?

      2) What values/speeds will or should raise the red flag?
      ---Are there benchmarks that should be considered?
      ---Are these or should these be based on location (e.g., Atlanta, NY, Long Island, etc....)
    1. quidam_brujah's Avatar
      quidam_brujah -
      Quote Originally Posted by mr117 View Post
      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.
      So say we all!

      Quote Originally Posted by BOYD View Post
      they throttled me for a month (i was given a notice via text) , but then they changed my plan without a notice! From Grandfathered unlimited data to 4 gig month plan ($15 more a month)....... found out when i got a text alert iv'e never received before saying i have used 75% of my data for the month.
      Since the way the contracts are written, they can change the terms any time, notify you and your choice to continue using the service acknowledges agreement to the terms. This is ridiculous, but I'm surprised that they haven't just written in to contracts that they can 'help' you by changing your plan to 'put you in a plan more appropriate with their current offerings and your usage history' as a 'value-add'. They do that, you continue using and then there is no more grandfathering -- they can change it whenever they like and as long we we continue to bend over and pay, the contract is 'accepted' and you've got no recourse.
    1. 51504rock's Avatar
      51504rock -
      see you in court att
    1. fishbone's Avatar
      fishbone -
      Some clarifications:

      1) I'm not a corporate guy;
      2) I'm not against people carrying/fighting for their rights, in or out of courts.
      3) I'm against anyone that urge to people to go to court to try to resolve things that could be resolved by other means;
      4) I'd actually changed providers to get an unlimited plan without being throttled;

      In theory, is cool to pose as a advocate of peoples rights and to argue that judiciary branch is there for all of our needs, regardless they are small or that it can be solved in other ways. But in practice, when those little claims grows out of proportion, it takes the time and money that should be invested in more important subjects, like people that were convicted by draft, for example.

      Again, I'm not against people fighting for their rights. I just think that urge people in a web publication to go to court for bananas is irresponsible.

      But then again, that's just me
    1. epignosis567's Avatar
      epignosis567 -
      Can someone explain to me how I would know if my data is throttled and how I can prove it in court...?
    1. SeveIV's Avatar
      SeveIV -
      They've already reduced mine, I get .2 mbps it's total bs

      They've already throttled mine, I get like .2 mbps downloads now =/ it's total bs
    1. 51504rock's Avatar
      51504rock -
      I hope everyone that this happens to takes ATT to court.
    1. RayW8503's Avatar
      RayW8503 -
      This is good to know. Another good point to add to this is that their highest tier plan is 4gigs. With that being said, why is it that our data slows down at 2gigs of usage? We're paying for unlimited data and even if they we're to screw with our internet speed...its pretty dumb to do so at 2gigs of usage when their highest data plan is 4gigs of usage. I say we all sue the hell out of them!!!
    1. buttrr76's Avatar
      buttrr76 -
      I just got off the phone with the at&t manger in my area. any unlimited data user who hits 2gb plan will start to be throttled. they just released a 3gb plan and shortly the 2 gb throttle cap will be raised to 3gb at that time. if you would like to to write and complain to att the dept to write to is p.o box 246 artesia, ca 90702-0246... happy writings

      urge everybody to file a complaint with the FCC. They will examine if there is a policy violation on unlimited plans regarding bandwidth throttling. Every complaint has to be answered by AT&T in writing within 45 days. Phone 1-888-CALL-FCC (1-888-225-5322).

      *** Example Text ***

      I wish to file an informal complaint with the FCC against AT&T Wireless. I want to examine the possibility of “Policy Violations” and/or “Violations of Policy that are In Development” on the part of AT&T.

      AT&T has determined that I am in the top 5% of monthly data consumption users, but has not clearly defined in specific terms (either in Kilobytes of Megabytes) how much monthly data usage they arbitrarily consider too much. And if this were a genuinely defined “Unlimited Data Plan”, it should not matter.

      I am under a 2-year contract with AT&T’s grandfathered “Unlimited Data Plan”. I pay on time each and every month for this signed, committed, and contracted wireless service. I have also recently paid to upgrade my handset to an iPhone 4S for the express purpose optimizing my data speeds and enhancing my data performance.

      AT&T banners itself as a “Network of Possibilities” offering 2 layers of network technology that deliver 4G or “Fourth-Generation Wireless” speeds that encompass HPSA+ (High Speed Packet Access Plus) and LTE (Long Term Evolution) wireless technologies. Yet, AT&T is limiting my data by invoking “Bandwidth Throttling” and/or “Bandwidth Capping” at rates that are considerably less than even accepted 3G speeds.

      “Unlimited” is defined by Merriam-Webster as:

      1. lacking any controls : unrestricted
      2. boundless, infinite

      I believe that AT&T has knowingly misled their customer base by falsely offering an “Unlimited Data Plan” to capture early market-share. To now compensate, AT&T is now imposing intentional and substantial data limits. I believe that AT&T has oversubscribed their network capabilities while failing to upgrade their network capacities to support current market demand. We the customers are left holding-the-bag because AT&T has failed in the proper “Capacity Planning” and “Capacity Execution” of their network.


      *** Additionally ***

      (1) Be Sure To File An "Informal Complaint" vs. a "Formal Complaint". An Informal Complaints Insures That There Is No Cost To You. A Formal Complaint Is Used To Lay The Groundwork For A Law Suit ... Big $$$.


      (2) Be Sure To Use The Term "Violations of Policies That Are In Development". This Covers Grey Areas Which Are Yet To Be Defined Under Current Laws.


      The FCC Is Taking Notice ... We Need To Get The Number Of Complaints To A Level Where It Becomes One Of Their Top Issues.
    1. towboattrash34's Avatar
      towboattrash34 -
      Quote Originally Posted by buttrr76 View Post
      I just got off the phone with the at&t manger in my area. any unlimited data user who hits 2gb plan will start to be throttled. they just released a 3gb plan and shortly the 2 gb throttle cap will be raised to 3gb at that time. if you would like to to write and complain to att the dept to write to is p.o box 246 artesia, ca 90702-0246... happy writings

      urge everybody to file a complaint with the FCC. They will examine if there is a policy violation on unlimited plans regarding bandwidth throttling. Every complaint has to be answered by AT&T in writing within 45 days. Phone 1-888-CALL-FCC (1-888-225-5322).

      *** Example Text ***

      I wish to file an informal complaint with the FCC against AT&T Wireless. I want to examine the possibility of “Policy Violations” and/or “Violations of Policy that are In Development” on the part of AT&T.

      AT&T has determined that I am in the top 5% of monthly data consumption users, but has not clearly defined in specific terms (either in Kilobytes of Megabytes) how much monthly data usage they arbitrarily consider too much. And if this were a genuinely defined “Unlimited Data Plan”, it should not matter.

      I am under a 2-year contract with AT&T’s grandfathered “Unlimited Data Plan”. I pay on time each and every month for this signed, committed, and contracted wireless service. I have also recently paid to upgrade my handset to an iPhone 4S for the express purpose optimizing my data speeds and enhancing my data performance.

      AT&T banners itself as a “Network of Possibilities” offering 2 layers of network technology that deliver 4G or “Fourth-Generation Wireless” speeds that encompass HPSA+ (High Speed Packet Access Plus) and LTE (Long Term Evolution) wireless technologies. Yet, AT&T is limiting my data by invoking “Bandwidth Throttling” and/or “Bandwidth Capping” at rates that are considerably less than even accepted 3G speeds.

      “Unlimited” is defined by Merriam-Webster as:

      1. lacking any controls : unrestricted
      2. boundless, infinite

      I believe that AT&T has knowingly misled their customer base by falsely offering an “Unlimited Data Plan” to capture early market-share. To now compensate, AT&T is now imposing intentional and substantial data limits. I believe that AT&T has oversubscribed their network capabilities while failing to upgrade their network capacities to support current market demand. We the customers are left holding-the-bag because AT&T has failed in the proper “Capacity Planning” and “Capacity Execution” of their network.


      *** Additionally ***

      (1) Be Sure To File An "Informal Complaint" vs. a "Formal Complaint". An Informal Complaints Insures That There Is No Cost To You. A Formal Complaint Is Used To Lay The Groundwork For A Law Suit ... Big $$$.


      (2) Be Sure To Use The Term "Violations of Policies That Are In Development". This Covers Grey Areas Which Are Yet To Be Defined Under Current Laws.


      The FCC Is Taking Notice ... We Need To Get The Number Of Complaints To A Level Where It Becomes One Of Their Top Issues.
      I did that 10 yrs ago when they tried to hit me with offshore tower rates.... in 2 weeks i got a call from the vice prez of at&t told me i should not of filled a complaint to the FCC.... I said s.c.r.e.w you you should not of tried to charge me offshore rates when i was clearly inshore on land...
    1. blinxtom's Avatar
      blinxtom -
      Wow. Kinda want to do it now. They did it to me
    1. maddawg05's Avatar
      maddawg05 -
      I was at AT&T and they have a 5gb data plan for $50.
    1. santacruzlocal's Avatar
      santacruzlocal -
      Such a sue happy country!!! I fought for this country and this is what you all do with it!
    1. 14u2nv's Avatar
      14u2nv -
      santa, seriously you are gonna take that route? Obviously you are not understanding that it is not about the "MONEY", but rather the fact that we bought something based on what we were told and now that is being slowly taken away. If I sued, it wouldn't be for $$$, it would be for what I signed up and pay for, UNLIMITED DATA for the life of my "marriage" to ATT. Most of us have no desire to get something that is not ours, we just want what we agreed to...
    1. hadzo's Avatar
      hadzo -
      Quote Originally Posted by buttrr76 View Post
      I just got off the phone with the at&t manger in my area. any unlimited data user who hits 2gb plan will start to be throttled. they just released a 3gb plan and shortly the 2 gb throttle cap will be raised to 3gb at that time. if you would like to to write and complain to att the dept to write to is p.o box 246 artesia, ca 90702-0246... happy writings

      urge everybody to file a complaint with the FCC. They will examine if there is a policy violation on unlimited plans regarding bandwidth throttling. Every complaint has to be answered by AT&T in writing within 45 days. Phone 1-888-CALL-FCC (1-888-225-5322).

      *** Example Text ***

      I wish to file an informal complaint with the FCC against AT&T Wireless. I want to examine the possibility of “Policy Violations” and/or “Violations of Policy that are In Development” on the part of AT&T.

      AT&T has determined that I am in the top 5% of monthly data consumption users, but has not clearly defined in specific terms (either in Kilobytes of Megabytes) how much monthly data usage they arbitrarily consider too much. And if this were a genuinely defined “Unlimited Data Plan”, it should not matter.

      I am under a 2-year contract with AT&T’s grandfathered “Unlimited Data Plan”. I pay on time each and every month for this signed, committed, and contracted wireless service. I have also recently paid to upgrade my handset to an iPhone 4S for the express purpose optimizing my data speeds and enhancing my data performance.

      AT&T banners itself as a “Network of Possibilities” offering 2 layers of network technology that deliver 4G or “Fourth-Generation Wireless” speeds that encompass HPSA+ (High Speed Packet Access Plus) and LTE (Long Term Evolution) wireless technologies. Yet, AT&T is limiting my data by invoking “Bandwidth Throttling” and/or “Bandwidth Capping” at rates that are considerably less than even accepted 3G speeds.

      “Unlimited” is defined by Merriam-Webster as:

      1. lacking any controls : unrestricted
      2. boundless, infinite

      I believe that AT&T has knowingly misled their customer base by falsely offering an “Unlimited Data Plan” to capture early market-share. To now compensate, AT&T is now imposing intentional and substantial data limits. I believe that AT&T has oversubscribed their network capabilities while failing to upgrade their network capacities to support current market demand. We the customers are left holding-the-bag because AT&T has failed in the proper “Capacity Planning” and “Capacity Execution” of their network.


      *** Additionally ***

      (1) Be Sure To File An "Informal Complaint" vs. a "Formal Complaint". An Informal Complaints Insures That There Is No Cost To You. A Formal Complaint Is Used To Lay The Groundwork For A Law Suit ... Big $$$.


      (2) Be Sure To Use The Term "Violations of Policies That Are In Development". This Covers Grey Areas Which Are Yet To Be Defined Under Current Laws.


      The FCC Is Taking Notice ... We Need To Get The Number Of Complaints To A Level Where It Becomes One Of Their Top Issues.
      done

      Quote Originally Posted by AAAARRRRRRGGGGG View Post
      and also done
    1. Blakestuhh's Avatar
      Blakestuhh -
      I need to do that
    1. shawn o's Avatar
      shawn o -
      You can sue but you will lose.

      Contract might say unlimited but it doesn't say how fast they have to provide it. They can provide it at Edge speeds if they so choose.
    1. Starbuckpga1's Avatar
      Starbuckpga1 -
      A lot of lose holes in the contracts and grey areas if you ask me.