Lieff Cabraser Civil Justice Blog

Straight Talk Net10 Simple Mobile Telcel America Settlement

If you had a Straight Talk, Net10, Simple Mobile, or Telcel America “Unlimited” Mobile Service Plan, you may be entitled to a cash refund from a class action settlement.

Haga clic aquí para ver la traducción al español de este comunicado de prensa.

You must file a claim to receive a cash refund. Visit PrepaidPhoneRefund.com to file a claim.

WHAT IS THIS CASE ABOUT? Consumers have filed a class action lawsuit saying that Straight Talk, Net10, Simple Mobile, and Telcel America advertised “unlimited” wireless plans, but then slowed or cut off data service, or terminated all services, for some customers. The defendants in the case, TracFone Wireless (the owner of those four brands) and Wal-Mart, deny all liability.

WHO IS INCLUDED? You’re eligible for a refund (meaning that you’re a “Class Member”) if you bought a Straight Talk, Net10, Simple Mobile, or Telcel America mobile service plan with “unlimited” data in the United States, and, at any time between July 24, 2009 and December 31, 2014, you had your data usage “throttled” (slowed), suspended (cut off), or had all of your services terminated by TracFone before the expiration of your service plan. If you had an “unlimited” plan, but aren’t sure if your service was throttled (slowed), cut off or terminated, file a claim and the information you provide will be checked against company records to see if you’re eligible.

WHAT DOES THE SETTLEMENT PROVIDE? TracFone has agreed to pay $40 million to a settlement fund. Class Members who file valid claims (“claimants”) will receive cash refunds from the fund. Refund amounts will depend on three things: the number of claimants, when you were a customer, and how your service was affected. The Settlement Administrator supervising the refund program will use company records and the information you provide in your Claim Form to determine your eligibility and your refund amount. TracFone also has agreed to improve its advertising and customer service as part of the settlement to make its policies clearer to customers. For more information, visit PrepaidPhoneRefund.com.

HOW DO I GET A REFUND? You must file a Claim Form to get a refund. There are two ways to file a Claim Form: (1) File online, at www.PrepaidPhoneRefund.com; or (2) Print a Claim Form, available at PrepaidPhoneRefund.com, fill it out, and mail it (with postage) to the address listed on the Claim Form. Claim Forms must be filed online or postmarked by June 19, 2015. If you had more than one phone number with “unlimited” data from Straight Talk, Net10, Simple Mobile or Telcel America between July 24, 2009, and December 31, 2014, you should file a separate Claim Form for each phone number you had. (It’s easier to file multiple claims online.)

YOUR OTHER OPTIONS: If you don’t want to make a claim, and don’t want to be bound by the settlement and any judgment in this case, you must send a written request to exclude yourself from the settlement, postmarked no later than May 20, 2015. If you exclude yourself, you won’t get a refund through this settlement. If you don’t exclude yourself and don’t submit a claim, you won’t receive a refund from the settlement and you will give up the right to sue TracFone or Wal-Mart about the claims in this case. If you don’t exclude yourself, you may object to the settlement or to the request for fees by the attorneys representing the Class. The detailed Class Notice, available at PrepaidPhoneRefund.com, explains how to exclude yourself or object.

The Court will hold a hearing in the case — In re TracFone Unlimited Service Plan Litigation, No. 13-cv-03440-EMC (N.D. Cal.) — on June 23, 2015 at 2:30 p.m., to consider whether to approve: (1) the settlement; (2) attorneys’ fees of up to $5 million plus reimbursement of out-of-pocket litigation costs of up to $100,000, for the attorneys representing the Class, to be paid by TracFone in addition to the $40 million settlement fund; and (3) service awards of $2,500 each for the eight class representatives who represented the Class in this case. You may appear at the hearing, but you don’t have to. The Court has appointed attorneys (called “Class Counsel”) to represent the Class. These attorneys are listed in the detailed Class Notice. You may hire your own attorney to appear for you, but you will have to pay that attorney.

WHERE CAN I GET MORE INFORMATION? For more information, visit PrepaidPhoneRefund.com or call 1-855-312-3327.