US TELECOM FIRM AT&T has agreed to pay a fine of $700,000 after it kicked long term pay as you go customers onto monthly tariffs
The fine was levied by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), which said that AT&T had let down people it termed "grandfathered subscribers", and who we might describe as being told that they could remain pay as you go customers before being pushed onto monthly tarifs.
The move costs those users money, and its only fitting that it should do the same to AT&T.
"Today's action sends a clear signal that wireless carriers can't wrongfully charge consumers,'' said FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski.
"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."
The fine sees AT&T refunding the excess charges it imposed on its users. According to the FCC these charges could have been as much as $25 to $30 a month. Users were transferred beginning in November 2009, three years ago.
Consumers complained and the FCC started its investigation last year. In its statement the FCC urged AT&T customers to check their bills carefully and complain if they suspect if they have been overcharged.
"This Consent Decree puts precious dollars back in the pockets of consumers - where they belong," said Michele Ellison, chief of the FCC's Enforcement Bureau.
"We strongly encourage AT&T subscribers to check their bills closely and contact the company if they spot any overcharges related to wireless data."
As well as paying the fine and refunds, AT&T has promised to check to see whether any other customers have been impacted. µ
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