AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile to Pay $10 Million Settlement Over Misleading Claims About ‘Unlimited’ Plans

By Trisha Andrada

May 13, 2024 04:11 AM EDT

The three major telecom companies in the United States-AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile-will pay $10.25 million to end a lawsuit that claimed they lied about the "unlimited" and "free" plans they offered. A coalition of 50 attorney generals recently announced the deal.

Telecom Companies Accused of Misleading Customers With Unlimited Plan Ads

New York Attorney General Letitia James said in a statement that AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile lied about their ads based on a multi-state investigation. Apparently, the three companies portrayed unlimited data plans as having no limits but having reduced speed and quality when a customer reached a specific threshold.

James stressed that large corporations must adhere to legal requirements and not deceive customers into paying for services that will never be provided.

She also pointed out that companies harming regular Americans and attempting to take advantage of the service will be targeted.

In another news release, California Attorney General Rob Bonta called the unlimited bandwidth and free wireless devices that businesses offer "too good to be true" deals.

Bonta said carriers have taken advantage of the fact that cell phones are increasingly fundamental to people's daily lives. According to him, the settlement mandates improvements to the widespread use of misleading advertising in the mobile phone industry.

READ NEXT: FCC Penalizes the US' Largest Wireless Carriers for Sharing User Location Without Consent

Future Marketing Required to Prioritize Honesty, Accuracy, and Transparency

Future marketing must be true, accurate, and non-misleading; plans may only be sold as unlimited if there are no limitations on the amount of data permitted during a billing cycle;

The agreement imposes additional conditions in addition to the $10 million penalties. In a report by PCMag, it is said that future marketing must be true, accurate, and non-misleading, and plans may only be sold as unlimited if there are no limitations on the amount of data permitted during a billing cycle.

Companies must also designate an individual to coordinate with state attorneys general in handling consumer complaints and educate customer support agents on adhering to the agreement's provisions. Additionally, they need to implement a system to ensure their teams follow the rules.

READ MORE: New FCC Broadband' Nutrition Labels' for Internet Service Providers Now in Effect

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