News Releases

Attorney General Griffin Announces $104,246 Settlement with Wireless Carriers over Deceptive and Misleading Advertising Practices

Griffin: ‘[I]t is imperative that wireless companies are straightforward and honest in their advertising practices’

LITTLE ROCK – Attorney General Tim Griffin issued the following statement announcing Arkansas will receive $104,246.46 as part of a $10.25 million, 50-jurisdiction settlement with AT&T, Cricket Wireless, T-Mobile USA, Verizon Wireless, and TracFone Wireless resolving state attorneys general investigations into the wireless carriers’ deceptive and misleading advertising practices:

“Cell phones are important to the daily lives of Arkansans, and it is imperative that wireless companies are straightforward and honest in their advertising practices. Consumer protection is a core mission of my office, and it remains one of my top priorities. I want to thank my Public Protection Division for its work on securing this settlement, especially Deputy Attorney General Chuck Harder and Assistant Attorney General Matthew Ford.”

In the settlement, Arkansas will receive $49,017.04 from T-Mobile USA, $30,125.14 from Verizon Wireless, and $25,104.28 from AT&T.

Under the terms of the settlement, wireless carriers will be required to:

  • Ensure that all future advertisements and representations are truthful, accurate, and not misleading;
  • Refer in marketing to “unlimited” mobile data plans only when 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;
  • Offer to pay for consumers to “switch” carriers only when 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 for and receive such payment;
  • Offer wireless devices or services for “free” or similar terms only when they disclose clearly and conspicuously all material terms and conditions that the consumer must meet in order to receive the “free” devices or services;
  • Make offers to lease wireless devices only when the company makes clear that the consumer will be entering into a lease agreement;
  • Make representations that a consumer will save money by purchasing its products or services only when 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;
  • Appoint a dedicated employee to work with the attorneys general to address ordinary complaints filed by consumers; and
  • 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.

To read the settlement with AT&T and Cricket Wireless, click here.

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

To read the settlement with Verizon Wireless and TracFone Wireless, click here.

About Attorney General Tim Griffin

Tim Griffin was sworn in as the 57th Attorney General of Arkansas on January 10, 2023, having
previously served as the state’s 20th Lieutenant Governor from 2015-2023. From 2011-2015, Griffin served as the 24th representative of Arkansas’s Second Congressional District, where he served on the House Committee on Ways and Means, House Armed Services Committee, House Committee on Foreign Affairs, House Committee on Ethics and House Committee on the Judiciary while also serving as a Deputy Whip for the Majority.

Griffin has served as an officer in the U.S. Army Reserve Judge Advocate General’s (JAG) Corps for more than 27 years and currently holds the rank of colonel. In 2005, Griffin was mobilized to active duty as an Army prosecutor at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, and served with the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) in Mosul, Iraq.

He is currently serving as the Commander of the 2d Legal Operations Detachment in New Orleans, Louisiana. His previous assignments include serving as the Commander of the 134th Legal Operations Detachment at Fort Liberty (née Bragg), North Carolina, and as a Senior Legislative Advisor to the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness at the Pentagon. Griffin earned a master’s degree in strategic studies as a Distinguished Honor Graduate from the U.S. Army War College, Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania.

Griffin also served as U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas, and Special Assistant to the President and Deputy Director of Political Affairs for President George W. Bush; Special Assistant to Assistant Attorney General Michael Chertoff, Criminal Division, U.S. Department of Justice; Special Assistant U.S. Attorney, U.S. Attorney’s Office, Eastern District of Arkansas; Senior Investigative Counsel, Government Reform and Oversight Committee, U.S. House of Representatives; and Associate Independent Counsel, Office of Independent Counsel David M. Barrett, In re: HUD Secretary Henry Cisneros.

Griffin is a graduate of Magnolia High School, Hendrix College in Conway, and Tulane Law School in New Orleans. He attended graduate school at Oxford University. He is admitted to practice law in Arkansas (active) and Louisiana (inactive). Griffin lives in Little Rock with his wife, Elizabeth, a Camden native, and their three children.