AT&T recently settled a class-action lawsuit pertaining to what New Jersey customers say were unfair early termination fees (ETF). The carrier will reportedly pay New Jersey customers involved in the suit $16 million in cash and $2 million in non-cash benefits.
The settlement affects customers that were charged a flat-rate ETF between Jan. 1, 1998, and Nov. 4, 2009, or customers whose contract included a flat-rate ETF provision at any time after Jan. 1, 1998.Customers were made aware of the settlement via e-mail.
In a statement, the company said that it strongly denied any wrongdoing, and noted that no court has found that AT&T Mobility committed any wrongdoing regarding these fees. AT&T said that it agreed to settle "to avoid the burden and cost of further litigation."
AT&T also said that the litigation involved ETF policies of the old AT&T Wireless and Cingular. In 2008, AT&T introduced a new, more flexible ETF policy, in which it pro-rates the ETF for those renewing wireless customers who enter a one- or two-year service agreement.