T-Mobile for failing to disclose to its customers of the wireless data restrictions they offered on its unlimited data plan. According to the FCC's findings, the carrier would slow down the data speed of its customers and would throttle traffic once a certain usage threshold was reached. But instead of notifying their customers to know about it, the carrier failed to do so.
The FCC points out that T-Mobile led their customers into thinking they were getting faster and better service with the unlimited data plan they bought. The agency has since been investigating how the carrier explained its policy of deprioritizing heavy unlimited data users since March 2015. This was after they obtained numerous complaints from customers under T-Mobile and MetroPCS who were unhappy about the deprioritization policy being used by the carrier. As such, they felt like T-Mobile was not providing them the unlimited data service they had promised on their advertisements.
Its investigations led the FCC to discover that the carrier failed to disclose to its heavy data users what would happen to them once depriorization would take effect. While the carrier changed its strategy, it wasn't until after June 2015; to which the FCC had already investigated them. Based on its findings, T-Mobile failed to let their users know the threshold when customers would start being deprioritized. The carrier also failed to explain how this would affect the service used by the customers or even clarify the slowed data speeds a deprioritized user would encounter.
The settlement, worth $48 million, led T-Mobile to agree to paying a penalty of $7.5 million in cash and $35.5 million in "consumer benefits." This comes in the form of 4GB additional data to unlimited customers on T-Mo and MetroPCS, as well as $20 accessory discounts. The carrier also promised to give at least $5 million in services and equipment to students in low-income school districts; which would help at least 80,000 students throughout the four-year period it will be implemented.
T-Mobile CEO John Legere has expressed positivity on today's announcement on Twitter, expressing that this was "Good settlement with FCC today. @TMobile believes more info is best for customers". A second tweet says "Glad we could help schools with this solution as well."
Good settlement with FCC today. @TMobile believes more info is best for customers. #themoreyouknow https://t.co/XFY6dHPfN6— John Legere (@JohnLegere) October 19, 2016
Glad we could help schools with this solution as well. #loveit #customersfirst https://t.co/6Pc4UIJh3s— John Legere (@JohnLegere) October 19, 2016