AT&T Faces Data Charges Class Action

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San Francisco, CA: AT&T Mobility is facing a class action lawsuit over allegations charges associated with iPhone and iPad accounts. The suit claims that "AT&T's bills systematically overstate the amount of data used on each data transaction involving an iPhone or iPad account." The suit also alleges that AT&T bills customers or data transactions even when customers have disabled their phones.

The named plaintiff Patrick Hendricks claims that AT&T's overbilling "was discovered by an independent consulting firm retained by plaintiff's counsel, which conducted a two-month study of AT&T's billion practices for data usage, and found that AT&T systematically overstate web server traffic by 7 percent to 14 percent, and in some instances by over 300 percent. So, for example, if an iPhone user downloads a 50 KB website, AT&T's bill would typically overstated the traffic as 53.5 KB (a 7 percent overcharge) to as high as 150 KB (a 300 percent overcharge)," the complaint states.

Hendrick further alleges that "Not only does AT&T systematically overbill for every data transaction, it also bills for phantom data traffic when there is no actual data usage initiated by the customer. This was discovered by the same independent consulting firm, which purchased an iPhone from an AT&T store, immediately disabled all push notifications and location services, confirmed that no email account was configured on the phone, closed all applications, and let the phone sit untouched for 10 days. During this 10-day period, AT&T billed the test account for 35 data transactions totaling 2,292 KB of usage. This is like the rigged gas pump charging you when you never even pulled your car into the station."

The class claims that though AT&T's overcharges "have a modest effect on an individual customer's bill, they have a huge effect on AT&T's bottom line. AT&T has 92,8 million customers. In the fourth quarter of 2010, AT&T reported its wireless data revenues increased $1.1 billion, or 27.4 percent, from the year-earlier quarter, to $4.9 billion. A significant portion of those data revenues were inflated by AT&T's rigged billing system for data transactions."

Hendricks is seeking restitution and class damages for money had and received, breach of contract, unjust enrichment, unfair and fraudulent business practices, unfair competition, and violations of the federal Communications Act.

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Reader Comments

Posted by

Myself and son and family (5lines w/ATT since 2010 and we have NEVER been billed for DATA charges until we decided to the family plan 30GB shared. I have restricted all of our phones and we would always have roll over data into the next month- well after about a yr and us getting to upgrade i got a bill for 758.00 400$ of this was data overages I was so upset and disputed this and they wouldn't do anything and note this contract is 2yrs and were almost eligible to 1 upgrade or 2 leave ATT with no termination fee's etc... so I paid this but was calling CS every other day etc,.. and in the midst of that I was making sure our phones were not going over ANY DATA, But toward the end of the 2nd bill of me paying addtl $400 I get another bill for 1698.00 $ I went off the handle. I called CS and emailed Corporate office and spoke to them and the Corporate is a JOKE, needless to say this is on my sons credit of a debt of 2056.00$ I Have been looking for an attorney due to being charged DATA that wasn't even there- I would get text message every min. saying 75% of shared data is being used .. Come on - I would have all 5 devices and had shut off the DATA permanently and still have a bill over 2000$ dollars - ATT is a HUGE rip off. This happened to me when i was with Cingular before ATT bought them, but I just happened to know the CEO and he gave us all new phones and paid my bill to current and gave us a months credit for their mistake. ATT cant even admit their part of this DATA - Overcharging Error - with Customers. Please help me either to sue for being wrongfully overcharged - 2 for mine and sons credit - now debt> 3 I want my account reinstated. I have my history with AT & T and my Sons Credit and we enjoyed for the most part our service up until they pulled this huge Chaos of DATA charges. Its amazing to me that more people are not complaining of this..... I will continue to seek help until this is resolved... please contact me either via email or address and if you email me and this is legit. I will look forward to our conversation asap. I was with AT&T from 2010 - 2017 and prior was Cingular - US- Cellular- ever since i have had a cell phone- its been a sister of ATT and then with AT& T due to they bought them. Please Help me get this DATA usage overage - and overcharge corrected. Thank you

Posted by

I have been charged data overage charges for years and most times would happen on the very day my plan rolled over in the middle of the night when my data was off and my phone completely off. There were maybe 15 times I was charged this way

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