T-Mobile sued over 'unlimited' data plan

Mon, 08/09/2010 - 8:25am
Traci Patterson

According to a class-action lawsuit filed in California, T-Mobile has been deceptively marketing its myTouch 3G and Nexus One smartphone data plans as "unlimited."

In fact, the company actually caps data at 5 or 10 gigabytes before cutting off access to its 3G network and reducing Internet speeds, reports the Courthouse News Service.

Lead plaintiff Trent Alvarez bought T-Mobile smartphones in 2009 that required him to agree to a two-year contract. But Alvarez claims that the contract did not disclose T-Mobile's "invisible data cap" and that it presented the plan as "unlimited."

The suit, brought in Superior Court in Yolo County, says that ads for the carrier's "Unlimited Web & E-mail" plans, offered for Blackberrys and other smartphones, promise consumers access to an "unlimited" amount of data. The plans offer a discount on new phones if consumers agree to sign contracts.

T-Mobile sales representatives dropped the ball, as well, according to the suit, failing to inform Alvarez of the data limit and portraying the data plan as "unlimited."

Alvarez found out about the data limit in May when he received a text message from the carrier stating: "Your data usage in this billing cycle has exceeded 10 GB; data throughput for the remainder of the cycle may be reduced to 50 kbps or less."

So now Alvarez is stuck with a two-year contract and is unable to experience unlimited data services that he says were promised. The reduction has rendered his phone unable to send e-mails, download music and videos, and upload photos and applications.

The class demands an injunction preventing T-Mobile from continuing to deceptively advertise its data plans, as well as restitution for false advertising and disgorgement of all profits T-Mobile made from selling the "unlimited" plans, according to the Courthouse News Service.

Back in 2007, in a settlement with Cuomo, Verizon Wireless agreed to halt the deceptive marketing of its Internet usage plans as "unlimited" and reimburse $1 million to customers for wrongful account termination nationwide.

More Broadband Direct 8/09/10:

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•  Verizon, Google outline vision on Internet traffic
•  AT&T intros integrated mobile app
•  T-Mobile sued over 'unlimited' data plan
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