Wednesday, October 19, 2016

FCC Fines T-Mobile $48 Million over Unlimited Data Claim

The FCC’s Enforcement Bureau has ordered T-Mobile tp pay a fine and provide benefits to consumers totaling at least $48 million.

The fine is part of a settlement resolving an investigation into whether the company adequately disclosed speed and data restrictions for its “unlimited” data plan subscribers.

At issue is the policy of slowing down data speeds when T-Mobile or MetroPCS customers on so-called “unlimited” plans exceed a monthly data threshold. The FCC found that T-Mobile did not provide its customers with accurate and sufficient information about the unlimited data plan.

“Consumers should not have to guess whether so-called ‘unlimited’ data plans contain key restrictions, like speed constraints, data caps, and other material limitations,” said FCC Enforcement Bureau Chief Travis LeBlanc. “When broadband providers are accurate, honest and upfront in their ads and disclosures, consumers aren’t surprised and they get what they’ve paid for. With today’s settlement, T-Mobile has stepped up to the plate to ensure that its customers have the full information they need to decide whether ‘unlimited’ data plans are right for them.”  

Today’s settlement includes $48 million in total financial commitments from T-Mobile.  This includes a $7.5 million fine in addition to $35.5 million in consumer benefits offered to T-Mobile and Metro PCS customers with “unlimited” plans and at least $5 million in services and equipment to American schools to bridge the homework gap facing today’s students.  Eligible subscribers will be offered discounts on accessories and additional data.