Back in 2009, AT&T started shifting pay-as-you-go data subscribers to full monthly customers, despite promises that they would be able to grandfather their old plans in. This meant that customers would end up paying $25 - $30/month more than they used to, but thanks to a tidal wave of customer complaints and the intervention of th FCC, not only are those customers getting refunds, but AT&T is coughing up a $700,000 fine. The FCC chairman Julius Genachowski commented on the resolution:
"Today’s action sends a clear signal that wireless carriers can’t wrongfully charge consumers. These strong FCC accountability measures will ensure customers are not over-charged. I am pleased that AT&T is taking the appropriate steps to resolve this issue."
FCC Enforcement Bureay chief Michele Ellison also chimed in.
"This Consent Decree puts precious dollars back in the pockets of consumers—where they belong. We strongly encourage AT&T subscribers to check their bills closely and contact the company if they spot any overcharges related to wireless data."
That's some tall talk, and AT&T is understandably on the defensive. They say that fewer than 0.03% of their customers had been affected, and that the vast majority of them have already been refunded.
Was anyone affected by this transition years ago? Experience any other similar forced transitions with other carriers?
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