iPhone User, Awarded $850 In AT&T Data-Throttling Case
SIMI VALLEY, Calif. — When AT&T started slowing down the data service for his iPhone, Matt Spaccarelli, an unemployed truck driver and student, took the country's largest telecommunications company to small claims court. And won.
His award: $850.
Pro-tem Judge Russell Nadel found in favor of Spaccarelli in Ventura Superior Court in Simi Valley on Friday, saying it wasn't fair for the company to purposely slow down his iPhone, when it had sold him an "unlimited data" plan.
Spaccarelli could have many imitators. AT&T has some 17 million customers with "unlimited data" plans who can be subject to throttling. That's nearly half of its smartphone users. AT&T forbids them from consolidating their claims into a class action or taking them to a jury trial. That leaves small claims actions and arbitration.