I know we’ve been talking a lot about AT&T’s data throttling lately, and I promise not to bombard you with any more about it for a while unless it’s a really big deal… like this.

Like we already explained in detail before, AT&T’s data throttling policy does not treat customers equally, and there is no set number given as to when it will happen to you. The vagueness of such things leaves people angry when they are metaphorically hit in the face with it, and it leaves customers unhappy. The interesting part about it, is that AT&T does this despite the fact that it really doesn’t make any difference in data consumption rates, and users who are on an unlimited plan use just as much as those on a tiered plan.

But in a decision that will likely lead people to follow suit and jump on the lawsuit bandwagon, the Associated Press reported a judge in California awarded an iPhone user $850 in a small claims case filed against AT&T. The court found that the carrier was guilty of throttling data speeds on the iPhone 4′s unlimited data plan. According to the iPhone user, his data was throttled after reaching between 1.5GB to 2GB of data in any given billing cycle. The user was still grandfathered into his unlimited data plan, paying the standard $30 per month rate to use his phone.

When asked about it, AT&T representatives said:

“This is a small claims matter. We are evaluating next steps, including appeal. But at the end of the day, our contract governs our relationship with our customers.”

Small case now, but when word gets out this sort of thing gets results, you may have many small cases on your hands. I’d think that would be a big deal then, right? AT&T Area Sales Manager Peter Hartlove “argued in court that his employer has the right to modify or cancel customers’ contracts if their data usage adversely affects the network.” (AP)

The victory may not hold up much now that the story is out and gaining exposure though. The Associated Press also reports that AT&T is looking into the possibility of an appeal.

I know many of you out there are getting throttled by these guys… do you think you’re up for something like this? Would you take them to court?
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