Few weeks back, we had reported that AT&T was throttling down top 5% of the unlimited data plan subscribers to 2G speeds.
If that was not bad enough, users have reported that they have been downgraded to those pathetic 2G speeds after using less than 2GB of monthly usage.
But things have started looking up after a judge in Californian court awarded an iPhone user $850 because AT&T throttled his download speeds last week.
If you’re affected by AT&T’s data throttling and want to follow that iPhone users foot steps then Bradley Sniderman, an attorney from Southern California has 5 tips for you on how to file a small claim lawsuit:
1) Where to file — most lawsuits, even those from small claims, need to be filed in the jurisdiction where the defendant can be found. In this case (and let’s use AT&T), AT&T may have corporate offices in only a few locations, but since they are a nationwide phone company, they are usually subject to jurisdiction anywhere. What this means is that you can file your small claims suit in the courthouse most convenient to you.
2) Make sure you have a copy of your contract, and please review the entire agreement. It may be a slow read, but you need to know the terms of it. You may be able to use these terms to show that AT&T does not have the right to slow your data speed.
3) You need to be able to show that you have an unlimited data plan, which means you are entitled to unlimited data. You need to also show proof that AT&T had limited your data streaming. You next have to argue that AT&T has no right to charge you a fee for unlimited data, and then not supply it. It is not your fault that AT&T can’t keep up with demand for data. If you can even show that you are using less data that some of the fixed rate plans, such as the 3 gigabyte plans, that is even better (fixed plans using more data than you use, but they are not being throttled back). Make sure you have been paying your bill on time and that you are not late, since that could be used against you.
4) Make sure you have an amount for damages. You need to show how you were damaged by not having data streaming. This could be by showing lost business opportunities or showing how much you have paid for the service you never got.
5) Be polite, and make sure you are prepared. The court will listen to you, but if you don’t know what you are talking about, then your argument gets lost.
Though it is always a good idea to consult with an attorney, Sniderman’s tips should serve as a good starting point.
He concludes by saying:
Don’t feel intimidated by big companies such as AT&T. You have rights, too, and sometimes it’s important to exercise and protect those rights. The policies and practices of corporations are not always right, and it may be up to you to bring this to their attention.
It has been amazing to see AT&T getting away with this for such a long time, but we just get the feeling that they might be forced to mend their ways very soon (or it is probably wishful thinking on our part).