Curb Your Enthusiasm


Why Superlatives Are a Bad Sell

Businesses that describe their products in superlatives are taking note of a March small-claims court ruling in Simi Valley, Calif. Matt Spaccarelli, an unemployed truck driver and student, sued cellular giant AT&T for slowing down the "unlimited" data plan for his iPhone, asking the court for $10,000 in damages. Although he was awarded a modest $850, he set a precedent that may make companies think twice before hyping their products.

Spaccarelli argued AT&T had no right to refer to itself as the "fastest" network after it began throttling the busiest of its 17 million smartphone accounts with -unlimited-data plans. The wireless carrier, which stopped offering all-you-can-use data plans in 2010, earlier this year put the brakes on users who consume more than 3 gigabytes per month--roughly the amount of data required to download two full-length movies to a cellphone. Users like Spaccarelli say the speed limits often kick in after they're only one third of the way to the 3GB limit.

"There's a spectrum crunch in our industry," says AT&T spokesman Mark Siegel, noting that data traffic on its wireless network doubled last year.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article

Curb Your Enthusiasm
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?