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Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile Settle Lawsuit Over Misleading "Unlimited" Plans and "Free" Phone Offers

In a collective settlement totaling $10.22 million, Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile have agreed to resolve claims from a group of states alleging deceptive advertising practices regarding their "unlimited" plans and "free" phone promotions. Following an investigation by a coalition of 50 attorneys general, the settlement mandates increased transparency in their marketing efforts.

Per the terms, the carriers can only label their plans as "unlimited" if there are genuinely no data usage limits during a billing cycle. Advertisements must prominently disclose any speed restrictions and specify data thresholds that trigger throttling.

Furthermore, the attorneys general addressed purportedly misleading claims about "paying" customers to switch carriers. The settlement requires clear disclosure of offer terms, including payment amounts and timelines. Similarly, any conditions tied to "free" phone offers, along with hidden fees, must be fully revealed.

New York Attorney General Letitia James emphasized the significance of holding these companies accountable, stating, "AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile lied to millions of consumers, making false promises...Big companies are not excused from following the law."

As part of the agreement, the carriers must designate a dedicated representative to handle customer complaints. Despite denying any wrongdoing, the companies assert their commitment to transparent advertising. Nick Ludlum, Senior Vice President of the CTIA, the carriers' trade group, stressed the agreements reflect their dedication to clarity and integrity in advertising.

This settlement comes amidst heightened scrutiny, with the FCC imposing nearly $200 million in fines on Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile last week over alleged illegal sharing of customer location data.

This settlement comes amidst heightened scrutiny, with the FCC imposing nearly $200 million in fines on Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile last week over alleged illegal sharing of customer location data
This settlement comes amidst heightened scrutiny, with the FCC imposing nearly $200 million in fines on Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile last week over alleged illegal sharing of customer location data
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