AT&T has reached a $700,000 settlement with the Federal Communications Commission in regards to complaints that it forced its pay-as-you-go-customers to enter more expensive monthly contracts.
The complaints date back to 2009 when AT&T stopped offering its pay-as-you-go data plans to new customers and began to move some of the existing subscribers over to monthly contracts. According to the FCC, AT&T told those customers they would be able "grandfathered" in with the switch and would be able to continue with their old à la carte plans.
That didn't happen. The pay-as-you-go customers were all given new monthly plans that had them paying an extra $25–$30 a month.
FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski released a statement regarding the AT&T investigation:
"Today's action sends a clear signal that wireless carriers can't wrongfully charge consumers," said FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski in a statement regarding the AT&T investigation. "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."
Monthly data customers who were pushed into monthly contracts can also expect a refund for all monies billed in error.