Tuesday, March 13, 2012

AT&T to customer that sued them: Talk to us or we cut off your service

AT&T is wanting to talk to the customer that sued them just a few weeks ago over unlimited data and throttling, and they are threatening to cut off his service if he doesn't cooperate. 


In a letter dated Friday, a law firm retained by AT&T is threatening to shut off Matthew Spaccarelli's phone service if he doesn't sit down to talk.


The phone company doesn't say if the settlement would involve money beyond the $850 award the Simi Valley, Calif., resident won from the company in small claims court on Feb. 24.


What happened is that AT&T has about 17 million smartphone customers on "unlimited" plans, and has started slowing down service for users who hit certain traffic thresholds. Spaccarelli maintained at his Feb. 24 small-claims hearing that AT&T broke its promise to provide "unlimited" service, and the judge agreed.


Spaccarelli has posted online the documents he used to argue his case and encourages other AT&T customers copy his suit. Legal settlements usually include non-disclosure agreements that would force Spaccarelli to take down the documents.



In its letter, AT&T asked Spaccarelli to be quiet about the settlement talks, including the fact that it offered to start them, another common stipulation. Spaccarelli said he was not interested in settling, and forwarded the letter to The Associated Press.


Spaccarelli has admitted that he has used his iPhone to provide Internet access for other devices, a practice known as tethering, which violates AT&T's contract terms. AT&T says that means it has the right to turn off his service.


Spaccarelli says he doesn't care - the important thing to him was defeating AT&T in court, he said.


AT&T has not commented further on this.

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