Nearly two years ago, the Federal Trade Commission sued AT&T for allegedly misleading wireless customers by charging them for “unlimited” data plans while simultaneously throttling their cellular connection speeds when they passed certain monthly thresholds. AT&T failed in 2015 to get the case dismissed in District Court, but yesterday succeeded in convincing a federal appeals court to throw out the government’s complaint. [More]
Wanting to thank and reward customers isn’t a new concept, but Citi and AT&T have spent the last few months in a legal feud over the idea of thankfulness. They’ve decided to end the legal feud, though, after a federal judge ruled that AT&T didn’t have to stop using the term for its rewards program while the two sides battled in court. [More]
Last month, after FCC Chair Tom Wheeler called on the telecom industry to finally do something about the nuisance of pre-recorded, auto-dialed robocalls, AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson agreed to head up a joint private-public Robocall Strike Force tasked with actually doing something about these calls. Today, this elite squad of telephonic titans is meeting for the first time. [More]
Two months ago, Citi sued AT&T — not over some huge multimillion-dollar account or bad business deal, but over AT&T’s daring use of the word “Thanks” in a new loyalty program. The bank asked a federal court to bar the phone giant from using the disputed term pending the outcome of the case, but the judge has shot that request down. [More]
You might be familiar with the Samsung S7 Active smartphone, which both the manufacturer and its exclusive retailer, AT&T, advertise as being waterproof. Our phone-dunking colleagues down the hall at Consumer Reports tested that claim and found the S7 Active lacking, with two test phones failing after a simulated 5-foot dunk in a water tank. Yet it turns out AT&T employees aren’t aware of this issue, and owners of the phone won’t get a lifetime warranty for liquid damage. [More]
AT&T Penalized $7.75 Million For Allowing Scammers To Charge Bogus “Directory Assistance Service” Fees
Nearly two years after AT&T was hit with a $105 million settlement over bill-cramming — the practice of letting third parties place questionable or false charges on customers’ phone bills — the Federal Communications Commission says the company has agreed to pay another $7.5 million to close the book on additional cramming accusations involving a bogus directory assistance service. [More]
The last thing you would expect the former CEO of a major department store to do is deliver mobile phones to customers’ homes, but that’s exactly what a new company from former JCPenney CEO Ron Johnson is doing for AT&T. [More]
Consumers really like Google Fiber. Or, at the very least, they like the idea of Google Fiber: when the company says it’s considering bringing its super-speedy internet service to town, prospective subscribers happily sign up and towns do what they need to do to make themselves attractive to the business. And that sits very, very poorly with the companies that are already in town and don’t want to deal with a pesky thing like competition.
If it seems like this is the season when every ISP out there is messing with its data caps, well, that’s because it is. Up today: AT&T, with its second shift in data cap policy in the last six months.
Commercial-grade phone service is expensive, so there’s a program that helps schools afford it. There are rules about what phone companies, like AT&T, can and can’t charge the schools that apply through that program. And the FCC now says that not only did AT&T not follow those rules, but also it charged two school districts the highest rates in the entire state to keep their phone lines connected.
In response to FCC Chair Tom Wheeler’s call for all major phone companies to finally put free robocall-blocking tools in the hands of their customers, AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson — who recently incorrectly blamed the FCC for his company’s failure to address this issue — says he is going to lead an industry “Strike Force” to combat robocalls. [More]
Even though the Federal Communications Commission has repeatedly said that wireless and landline phone providers are allowed to offer robocall-blocking services to their customers, some carriers have continued to incorrectly insist — and provide misinformation to consumers — that they simply don’t have the authority to deploy this technology. In an effort to make things clear once and for all, FCC Chair Tom Wheeler has sent letters to these companies that there are no regulatory roadblocks stopping them from helping their customers stop annoying — often illegal — automated and prerecorded robocalls. [More]
When wireless companies prepare to handle huge events — like the upcoming political conventions and the recent papal visit to Philadelphia — they roll out mobile cell towers and sometimes make permanent infrastructure upgrades to deal with the increased data use. Now AT&T is testing out whether it can use aerial drones to bolster LTE service in these situations. [More]