Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile Reach Settlement of $10.22 Million Over Misleading Unlimited Data Plans

AT&T and Verizon

Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile have agreed to pay a total of $10.22 million to settle accusations from a consortium of states alleging that the companies deceived customers with their “unlimited” plans and “free” phone offers.

The settlement, arising from an investigation conducted by a coalition of 50 attorneys general, mandates that the three telecom giants enhance transparency in their advertising practices.

As per the terms of the settlement, Verizon, T-Mobile, and AT&T can only market their plans as “unlimited” if there are genuinely no restrictions on data usage throughout a billing cycle.

Advertisements must prominently disclose that speed restrictions may apply and specify the data threshold triggering any slowdown.

T-Mobile and Verizon

Furthermore, the attorneys general took issue with the purportedly misleading advertisements from Verizon, T-Mobile, and AT&T offering to “pay” customers for switching carriers.

Henceforth, all three companies must provide clear and comprehensive disclosure of the terms and conditions associated with such offers, including payment amounts and timelines. They must also divulge the prerequisites for receiving “free” phone offers, as well as any concealed fees.

New York Attorney General Letitia James, in a statement, asserts, “AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile lied to millions of consumers, making false promises of free phones and ‘unlimited’ data plans that were simply untrue.”

She emphasizes that adherence to the law is imperative for large corporations, who cannot deceive consumers into paying for services they won’t receive.

T-Mobile & AT&T

Additionally, Verizon, T-Mobile, and AT&T are required to designate a “dedicated representative” to address customer complaints. Despite these settlements, the companies deny any wrongdoing.

Nick Ludlum, senior vice president of the CTIA, the industry trade group representing the carriers, underscores that these agreements do not imply any acknowledgment of improper conduct.

He reaffirms the industry’s commitment to transparent and honest advertising, enabling consumers to make informed decisions about their purchases.

This settlement isn’t the only recent scrutiny the three major carriers have faced. Last week, the Federal Communications Commission imposed fines totaling nearly $200 million on Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile for allegedly unlawfully sharing customers’ location data.

Ethan Johnson
Ethan's journey into journalism began with a deep curiosity about how businesses operate and evolve in today's dynamic markets. Armed with a degree in Journalism from a prestigious university, he embarked on his career, initially covering local business developments before expanding his scope to national and international commerce news.