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The FCC announced today that AT&T will pay a $700,000 fine and return money to customers who paid excessive charges after they were unknowingly switched to a costlier data plan.

AT&T promised customers they could retain their existing pay-as-you-go data plans, but then changed their mind, notes C/Net.

AT&T began transferring customers to to its monthly data plans in November 2009, shortly after the carrier required first-time smartphone subscribers to enroll in the mandatory monthly data plans.

As part of the FCC’s settlement, AT&T will reimburse effected customers by paying them the approximately $30 extra they paid each month. If customers believe they are eligible for a refund, they can contact AT&T.

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