Not since AT&T attempted to block certain uses of your phone on the Internet, have we filed complaints against a carrier. That was many years ago…
Today we began filing complaints with the California PUC, and the FCC, against AT&T and Verizon Wireless. This process will continue through next week.
People who camp out to buy a new iPhone, or any other iconic smartphone, should be able to. But, we’ve received numerous reports – and even people on our own staff, were turned away at the door on launch day.
Why, you might ask? Because they weren’t eligible for a new service contract.
Despite not giving any prior notice, both AT&T and Verizon appear to have blocked full retail iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus sales on launch day, even from existing customers… and even from customers with broken phones that weren’t eligible for a contract.
It’s wrong. It’s especially wrong in situations where, for example, Verizon says customers with unlimited data plans have to pay the full retail device for their phones.
Our complaints in California are focused on the Business & Professionals code. Statutes therein state that the advertised price-points must be honored, especially when a business offers multiple advertised price points.
With the FCC, we are highlighting this as an abuse of unlimited data. The carriers are forcing customers to give up their unlimited data in a manner that is contrary to their testimony to the FCC. While carriers said that customers could always keep their unlimited data, by purchasing a device at the full retail price – that doesn’t happen at times like this.
We worked hard on this one. And we want to thank Sprint and T-Mobile for discussing this with us, and saying that this isn’t how things should be. AT&T and Verizon, as well as Apple, shamefully refused to discuss this matter with us on a public relations or policy contact basis. Our discussions with Verizon management, which we reached out to after we had to bypass Verizon media relations, were equally unproductive.
It’s our goal next year to work more closely with the industry, be nicer and more productive. But we won’t sacrifice doing right by you the consumer, in the process. We hope in the future that AT&T and Verizon will work more closely with us, and ideally, not need to take things to regulators to resolve.
2 responses to “Our Regulatory Complaint Against AT&T, Verizon – And why we’re filing it.”
You guys deserve a lot more credit than you get. The EFF handles data freedom issues, but there’s really no group out there focusing on looking out for wireless customers. Guess the money just isn’t there.
Here’s hoping the regulators aren’t in bed with the carriers on this one! That’s a revolving door that I know all too well from taking on PG&E.
Keep up the great work!