On Jan. 28, the Federal Trade Commission reached a settlement with TracFone Wireless Inc. in a long-running lawsuit. TracFone agreed to pay $40 million to consumers who claimed the company advertised “unlimited” data plans, but throttled data transfer speeds when customers reached certain data limits.
The TracFone plans from Straight Talk, Net10, Simple Mobile and Telcel America were advertised at $45 per month with unlimited data.
The FTC claimed the company would “throttle” or slow down the mobile data when customers went past a certain limit during a 30-day period. Throttling usually occurred when a customer had used 1-3 GBs of data in a 30-day period, and slow the data by 60 to 90 percent. If a customer went past 4-5 GBs of data, then their service would be suspended.
Customers who purchased a Straight Talk, Net10, Simple Mobile or Telcel America mobile wireless service plan with “unlimited” data in the United States between July 24, 2009 and December 31, 2014, and had their data usage “throttled” (slowed), “suspended” (cut off), or had their services terminated by TracFone prior to the expiration of their service plan, are eligible for a refund under a settlement proposed by Tracfone if they file a timely claim.
To settle the cases, TracFone has proposed a settlement to pay refunds to eligible consumers who submit claims. Consumers may visit this site to review the settlement and file a claim.
While the settlement has not yet been approved, the window for submitting claims is now open, and will only be open for a limited time. So it is important to act now to file a claim.