Jason S. Miyares
Attorney General of Virginia

Image of the Virginia AG Seal

Commonwealth of Virginia
Office of the Attorney General

Jason S. Miyares
Attorney General


202 North 9th Street
Richmond, Virginia 23219
FAX 804-786-1991
Virginia Relay Service

For media inquiries only, contact:  
Victoria LaCivita
(804) 588-2021 
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Attorney General Miyares Announces $10.25 Million Settlement with Cellular Providers Over Deceptive and Misleading Advertising Practices

~ Virginia will receive $192,061.83 in settlement with Verizon Wireless, TracFone Wireless, AT&T Mobility, Cricket Wireless, and T-Mobile ~

RICHMOND, Va. – Attorney General Jason Miyares today announced a $10.25 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. (collectively, the “Wireless Carriers”), resolving the state attorneys general investigations into the Wireless Carriers’ alleged deceptive and misleading advertising practices.

The attorneys general allege that the Wireless Carriers engaged in a number of common unlawful 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 between competing plans.

“The Wireless Carriers engaged in a number of deceptive practices that misled consumers about the nature of unlimited data plans, free phone offers, and other inducements to sign up for wireless services,” Attorney General Miyares said. “I am pleased that we were able to reach a fair and reasonable agreement to ensure that these practices do not continue going forward.”

The settlement terms will, among other things, require the Wireless Carriers to:

  • (1) make all future advertisements and representations truthful, accurate and non-misleading;
  • (2) refer in marketing to “unlimited” mobile data plans only where such plans do not set any numerical limits on the quantity of data allowed during a billing cycle and clearly and conspicuously disclose any restrictions on data speed, as well as the triggers of such restrictions;
  • (3) offer to pay for consumers to “switch” carriers only where they clearly and conspicuously disclose the type of fees and amounts that they will pay consumers, the form and schedule that such payment will take and all material requirements that consumers must satisfy in order to qualify and receive such payment;
  • (4) offer wireless devices or services for “free” or similar terms only where they disclose clearly and conspicuously all material terms and conditions that the consumer must meet in order to receive the “free” devices or services;
  • (5) make offers to lease wireless devices only where it is made clear to the consumer that the consumer will be entering into a lease agreement;
  • (6) make representations that a consumer will save money by purchasing its products or services only where it has a reasonable basis to do so based on comparisons with the prices of comparable goods or services of other providers, or where any material differences between those goods or services are clearly and conspicuously disclosed;
  • (7) appoint a dedicated employee to work with the attorneys general to address ordinary complaints filed by consumers; and
  • (8) train its customer service representatives who speak with consumers to comply with these terms and implement and enforce a program to ensure compliance with these terms.

The Commonwealth of Virginia will receive $192,061.83 in attorneys’ fees and costs as part of the 50-jurisdiction settlements with the Wireless Carriers.