After taking AT&T to task for throttling unlimited data plans in late 2014, the Federal Trade Commission is now going after prepaid provider TracFone.
The FTC has fined TracFone $40 million for throttling unlimited data plans. The agency says that TracFone has been advertising its unlimited plans since 2009, but has throttled many users after one to three gigabytes of usage and suspended data service after four to five gigabytes of usage. While TracFone began to disclose its throttling practices in September 2013, the FTC says that those disclosures weren’t clear enough because they were often printed on the back of boxes or in small print, where consumers were unlikely to find them.
“The issue here is simple: When you promise consumers ‘unlimited’, that means unlimited. This settlement means that Straight Talk, Net10, Simple Mobile, and Telcel America customers will be able to get money back from the company for services the company promised but didn’t deliver.”
This news is certainly exciting for anyone that’s on an unlimited plan, especially those folks that are on grandfathered offerings from AT&T and Verizon. And while we’re still waiting to see how the FTC’s complaint against AT&T will play out, today’s news makes that battle even more interesting than it already was.