Attorney General Ken Paxton Announces $10.22 Million Settlement with Major Wireless Carriers Over Deceptive and Misleading Advertising Practices

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AUSTIN – Texas reached a $10.22 million 50-jurisdiction settlement with AT&T Mobility, LLC, Cricket Wireless, LLC, T-Mobile USA, Inc., Cellco Partnership, d/b/a Verizon Wireless, and TracFone Wireless, Inc., which resolves the state attorneys general investigations into the wireless carriers’ deceptive and misleading advertising practices.

 

An investigation into the wireless companies showed that they commonly engaged in misleading advertising practices, including misrepresentations concerning: (1) “unlimited” data advertisements, which failed to clearly and conspicuously disclose material limitations; (2) “free” phone offers, which failed to clearly and conspicuously disclose material conditions; (3) monetary incentives to “switch” wireless networks, which failed to clearly and conspicuously disclose how the monetary incentives would be provided; and (4) wireless carrier plan comparisons, which failed to disclose material differences.

 

As a part of the settlement, the companies will end deceptive marketing practices, replacing the problematic methods with transparent and accurate advertisements and disclosures. Additionally, the State of Texas will receive $1,152,078.23 in attorneys’ fees and costs.

 

“Businesses cannot lure consumers into deceptive deals through misleading marketing schemes,” said Attorney General Paxton. “Often these companies were promising ‘free’ phones with ‘unlimited’ plans which were, in reality, neither of those things. Our settlement holds these companies responsible and compels them to adopt more forthright and transparent marketing techniques.”

 

To read the agreement with AT&T Mobility, LLC and Cricket Wireless, LLC., click here.

 

To read the agreement with T-Mobile USA, Inc., click here.

 

To read the agreement with Cellco Partnership, d/b/a Verizon Wireless, and TracFone Wireless, Inc., click here.

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