AT&T, govt reach deal on data plan complaints

AT&T, govt reach deal on data plan complaints

Credit: Getty Images

LAS VEGAS - MARCH 24: Signs at the AT&T booth at the International CTIA Wireless 2010 convention at the Las Vegas Convention Center March 24, 2010 in Las Vegas, Nevada. CTIA is the international association for the wireless telecommunications industry. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

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KMOV.com

Posted on November 7, 2012 at 10:39 AM

NEW YORK (AP) -- AT&T agreed to pay the federal government $700,000 and offer refunds to customers for mistakenly forcing some smartphone users into monthly data plans.

   In late 2009, AT&T began to require new smartphone customers to subscribe to monthly data plans. Existing subscribers with pay-per-use plans or no plan at all had to get a monthly plan when they upgraded to a new smartphone.

   The requirement wasn't supposed to apply when subscribers replaced a lost or broken phone through an insurance program or warranty, or if they moved to a different AT&T service area. But a computer error moved those customers into monthly plans anyway.

   AT&T Inc. now must offer to restore the older plans and give refunds, which the Federal Communications Commission said could be up to $30 a month.

   AT&T said that the issue affected a small number of customers and that those who contacted AT&T had already been given refunds. Tuesday's agreement with the FCC requires the Dallas company to post notices on consumers' bills and offer them a chance to return to a pay-per-use plan or drop data use entirely.
 

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