Issue: False Advertising
In nationwide class actions against TracFone Wireless, consumers allege that TracFone falsely advertises that its StraightTalk, Net10, and Simple Mobile cell phone plans provide “unlimited” data.
Contrary to this misrepresentation, plaintiffs allege that TracFone implements internally established data usage limits that it purposefully fails to disclose to consumers, and regularly “throttles” (i.e. significantly reduces the speed of) or terminates customers’ data plans pursuant to the secret limits. Plaintiffs legal claims include breach of contract and violation of California’s and Florida’s unfair competition and false advertising laws.
Case Update: $40 Million Anticipated Settlement
On January 28, 2015, Michael W. Sobol, the chair of Lieff Cabraser’s consumer practice group announced that consumers who purchased service plans with “Unlimited data” from TracFone Wireless, Inc., sold under its brands Straight Talk, Net10, Telcel America, or Simple Mobile, may be eligible to receive payments under an anticipated $40 million settlement in a nationwide class action lawsuit.
Consumers who purchased Straight Talk, Net10, Telcel America, or Simple Mobile wireless service plans with “Unlimited data” during the period of July 24, 2009 through December 31, 2014, and who, at any time during this period, had the speed of their data “throttled,” suspended, or terminated at TracFone’s request will either receive a direct payment, or are eligible to participate in the settlement’s claim process.
“The settlement will offer compensation for customers who had the speed of their data service significantly reduced by a practice called ‘throttling,’ despite being promised ‘Unlimited data.’ The settlement will also improve future disclosures and notifications of data limits and throttling practices,” Sobol stated.
Consumers should visit www.PrePaidPhoneRefund.com to learn more about the possible class action settlement and submit their claim. If the settlement is approved, all payments to consumers through the settlement will be made by a Court-appointed claims administrator, as will be specified in the class action settlement agreement, subject to approval by the Court.