AT&T will cut you off if your throttling case wins in court
Smarting over its loss in court -- a customer awarded $850 for shady throttling practices -- AT&T has taken the brazen step of threatening that person with termination of service if he doesn't agree to a settlement. Matthew Spaccarelli of Simi Valley, Calif. won his case in late February, and possibly laid the groundwork for thousands of other suits.
In a letter on Friday, AT&T uses Spaccarelli's own admission of tethering his device as grounds for termination if he does not agree to settlement talks. The carrier promises no additional compensation above the $850 already due and asks for confidentiality that settlement discussions are underway.
Taken aback by AT&T's offer, Spaccarelli refused and instead sent the letter to the Associated Press, which on Wednesday reported on the carrier's attempt to settle. AT&T has some impetus to shut him up: Spaccerelli is guiding others' affected by AT&T's throttling practices on how to sue the company successfully.
I can't say I feel bad for AT&T's position, or disagree with Spaccarelli's decision to expose the company's tactics in attempting to get him to sit at the table. AT&T's move comes after losing the case, and actually seems to me like something that could be seen as a run-around the US judicial system.
How do you think a judge would react to a company that lost its case attempting to strongarm the winning party into settling an already decided matter? I bet you can guess which side the judge is going to come down on, and it's not AT&T's.
We don't know why AT&T is doing this, either: the company is not commenting. I personally would like an explanation from their legal team on how a threat like this is even legal, but I doubt I'll get that. Ah yes, the hubris of corporate America...