AT&T to pay $700,000 settlement over data plan debacle

It all started when AT&T stated that current pay-as-you-go customers could stay on the plan as the carrier shifted new customers to a mandatory monthly data plan. Some customers, however, were switched over to the monthly plan upon moving to a new address or changing phones under warranty. Now the company has agreed to settle the issue for $700,000.

AT&T will also refund "excess charges" that subscribers incurred after having their plans switched. The FCC began looking into this issue back in 2011 due to a myriad of customer complaints. The carrier ended up reaching a settlement agreement with the Federal Communications Commission earlier today.

Julius Genachowski, FCC Chairman, offered this statement. "Today's action sends a clear signal that wireless carriers can't wrongfully charge consumers. These strong FCC accountability measures will ensure customers are not over-charged. I am pleased that AT&T is taking the appropriate steps to resolve this issue."

Under the agreement, AT&T will shell out $700k to the Department of Treasury, as well as initiate refunds to wrongly-charged customers. As an extra slap on the wrist, the carrier will have to provide occasional compliance reports. Current customers are being advised to check out their billing statements, and to get in touch with company if they find excessive charges.

[via CNET]