The Federal Communications Commission on Wednesday announced the settlement, including a $7.5 million fine and $35.5 million worth of discounted gear or data for customers of third-largest U.S. wireless carrier T-Mobile and its MetroPCS unit, according to Bloomberg.
“Consumers should not have to guess whether so-called ‘unlimited’ data plans contain key restrictions, like speed constraints, data caps, and other material limitations,” said Travis LeBlanc, the FCC’s enforcement bureau chief. “When broadband providers are accurate, honest and upfront in their ads and disclosures, consumers aren’t surprised and they get what they’ve paid for.”
An investigation found that company policy allows T-Mobile to decrease data speeds when customers on plans sold as unlimited exceed a monthly data threshold, the FCC said in a news release. The agency heard from hundreds of “unhappy” customers who complained of slow speeds and said they weren’t receiving what they were sold, according to the news release.
T-Mobile failed to adequately inform its unlimited data plan customers that, under a “Top 3 Percent Policy,” their data would be slowed at times if they used more than 17 gigabytes in a given month, the FCC said. It said the company had agreed to update its disclosures to better explain who may be affected.
T-Mobile Chief Executive Officer John Legere tweeted, “Good settlement with FCC today. @TMobile believes more info is best for customers.”
After the decision T-Mobile share dropped 40 cents to $46.95 at the beginning of the trade day.