Verizon settles "unlimited data" suit

Yesterday was not a good day for the Verizon legal department. First they dropped their appeal of the open-access provision in the 700 MHz spectrum auction. Now they’ve settled a suit in New York over their deceptive offering of “unlimited internet” mobile packages. Apparently, “unlimited” really meant “a limit set by us, but not known to you.” And when people broke that threshold, their service was terminated. This is going to cost Verizon over one million dollars — a million to the customers it had wronged, and $150,000 to the State of New York.

“This settlement sends a message to companies large and small answering the growing consumer demand for wireless services. When consumers are promised an ‘unlimited’ service, they do not expect the promise to be broken by hidden limitations,” said [New York] Attorney General Andrew Cuomo. “Consumers must be treated fairly and honestly. Delivering a product is simply not enough – the promises must be delivered as well.”
So now Verizon is stuck paying the victims the cost of their laptop cards, plus the cost of the phones they used with the service. We think it’s a just penalty. You can’t go flaunting “unlimited” when you mean “reasonable people wouldn’t use more than this.” If there’s a limit, it must be disclosed. Fair is fair. In its defense, Verizon has disambiguated their broadband packages since then. Good for them. So hopefully we can move on from this and never have to deal with limited unlimited ever again. [NY Attorney General] via [Consumerist]]]>

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  1. Tim H on October 27, 2007 at 9:29 am

    Verizon only made settlement to participate in the upcoming Spectrum Auction with the FCC, which they potentially would not be a part of with this lawsuit hanging over their head. Otherwise, they would have fought this tooth and nail. They still suck and really haven’t changed their ways.
    They sold a service as “unlimited”, but now reveal a 5GB cap. Isn’t this still false advertising to customers who were sold a 2 year contract under these terms?