Business

AT&T pays $850 in data plan court case

NEW YORK - AT&T Inc. on Friday gave up on appealing an $850 award won by an iPhone user in small claims court, and sent him a check.

Matt Spaccarelli of Simi Valley, Calif., had sued the phone company because it was slowing down the data service on his phone. Spaccarelli has an unlimited data plan, but as of this fall, AT&T had begun slowing download speeds for these subscribers if they use more than a certain amount of data in a month.

Advertisement

Spaccarelli argued that “unlimited is unlimited,’’ and the judge agreed at a hearing on Feb. 24.

AT&T initially said it would appeal the decision. It then offered to go into settlement talks with him, in a letter that implied that AT&T was looking at canceling his service completely. Spaccarelli has admitted to “tethering’’ his phone to other devices, providing them Internet access through AT&T’s wireless network. That’s against AT&T’s rules.

Get Business Headlines in your inbox:
The Globe's latest business headlines delivered every morning, Monday through Friday.
Thank you for signing up! Sign up for more newsletters here

Spaccarelli turned the settlement offer down.

On Friday, the Dallas-based phone company said it was sending Spaccarelli a check for $850, plus $85 for court costs. Spokesman Mark Siegel didn’t elaborate on the company’s reasoning.

AT&T has 17 million subscribers on unlimited plans. It prohibits subscribers from seeking jury trials and from participating in class actions. Its right to limit subscribers’ legal options was upheld by the Supreme Court last year.

Advertisement

The remaining options for subscribers seeking legal redress are small claims court and arbitration.

Arbitration is usually covered by confidentiality agreements, so consumers can’t share tips about how to take on big companies. That doesn’t apply to small claims court, and Spaccarelli has posted his legal materials online.

Loading comments...
You're reading  1 of 5 free articles.
Get UNLIMITED access for only 99¢ per week Subscribe Now >
You're reading1 of 5 free articles.Keep scrolling to see more articles recomended for you Subscribe now
We hope you've enjoyed your 5 free articles.
Continue reading by subscribing to Globe.com for just 99¢.
 Already a member? Log in Home
Subscriber Log In

We hope you've enjoyed your 5 free articles'

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com
Already a subscriber?
Your city. Your stories. Your Globe.
Yours FREE for two weeks.
Enjoy free unlimited access to Globe.com for the next two weeks.
Limited time only - No credit card required!
BostonGlobe.com complimentary digital access has been provided to you, without a subscription, for free starting today and ending in 14 days. After the free trial period, your free BostonGlobe.com digital access will stop immediately unless you sign up for BostonGlobe.com digital subscription. Current print and digital subscribers are not eligible for the free trial.
Thanks & Welcome to Globe.com
You now have unlimited access for the next two weeks.
BostonGlobe.com complimentary digital access has been provided to you, without a subscription, for free starting today and ending in 14 days. After the free trial period, your free BostonGlobe.com digital access will stop immediately unless you sign up for BostonGlobe.com digital subscription. Current print and digital subscribers are not eligible for the free trial.