Apple customers who purchased the first generation iPad with 3G connectivity have started receiving notifications that they're eligible for a US$40 payment and a $20 discount on their current iPad data plan. The notifications are part of a settlement in a class action lawsuit that claimed participants were hit with a bait-and-switch when the unlimited data plans they purchased where changed to standard capped plans.
First gen iPad + 3G owners may be eligible to participate in a class action settlement
The lawsuit stemmed from AT&T's wireless data plan changes in 2010 when the cell service provider introduced tethering plans for the iPhone. The company's unlimited data plans were dropped and new plans with 2GB per month data caps were introduced, and in the process iPad owners that were promised unlimited data plans got the disappointing news that they would be stuck with data caps, too.
Plaintiffs in the lawsuit claimed that amounted to a bait-and-switch tactic on the part of AT&T and Apple, and ultimately the companies chose to negotiate a settlement. The settlement applies only to customers that purchased their first generation iPads through Apple since AT&T's terms of service preclude their customers from participating in class action lawsuits.
Unfortunately for Apple, it was drawn into the lawsuit even though it had no control over AT&T's service packages. The iPhone and iPad maker did, however, promote the data plans and could be targeted in a class action suit.
Customers that purchased the first generation iPad with 3G connectivity and activated a service plan have been receiving emails with information about participating in the settlement.
[Thanks to our TMO readers for the heads up]