FCC did announce earlier this afternoon that they have signed a consent decree with AT&T, where the latter has promised to fork out refunds to consumers who were pushed from a pay-as-you-go wireless data plan to a monthly data plan in an unfair manner. To get the gist of the situation, AT&T instated the monthly data plan in 2009, while delivering a promise to customers who purchased a wireless data plan via AT&T so that they would be able to be “grandfathered” into the new pricing structure – while retaining lower data rates in the process.

It took a year for the FCC to investigate “complaints that the company switched certain consumers to its mandatory monthly wireless data plans even though it had promised they could retain their existing pay-as-you-go data plans.” It was discovered that AT&T applied the new price structure to folks who replaced their handsets under warranty or insurance, and even those who have uprooted themselves to new areas of the US. AT&T did promise in a specific manner not to enforce price tiers on such customers. Having said that, AT&T’s consent decree will see them refund customers who were unfairly charged up to $30 monthly, and will have to hand over $700,000 to the US Treasury.

All’s well that ends well, no?

Filed in Cellphones. Read more about AT&T and FCC.

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