Class Action Lawsuit: AT&T Sued For Overcharging iPhone Customers

Posted on May 22 2011 - 8:25am by Kyle

AT&T is at a pivotal time in their existence as the nation’s second largest wireless carrier.  While waiting for government regulatory approval on their proposed merger with T-Mobile, AT&T would love to stay out of the limelight and thwart off negativity. However that’s not the case.

Last week, MSNBC and The Today Show ran a story about a class action lawsuit against AT&T stemming from phantom data charges and overcharging iPhone customers. According to the report their are 20 million iPhone and iPad customers on AT&T’s network. According to the lawyers bringing the lawsuit, every single one of them is being charged.

More and video after the break

The lawsuit was sparked by Mike and Lisa Stewart.  The Stewart family is a four iPhone family and Mike, the father of the bunch, had the smallest data plan because he rarely uses his phone.  Without doing anything out of the ordinary the Stewart’s noticed $15.00 in overcharged data.  According to Mrs. Stewart, they were even racking up data charges while the family was asleep.

The lawyers in the class action lawsuit purchased over 80,000 dollars in iPhones and iPads and started testing the devices to see what they could find out about the data. In some cases they used brand new iPhones, stripped off everything that could be using data and then let the phones sit for over 10 days.  The iPhones were turned on but according to what they had set as “consumers” there was no data that should have been used.

The lawyers found that even with nothing set to use data, no emails, navigation, youtube videos, data intensive games etc, there were still 35 billable data charges.  When MSNBC’s Senior Investigative Reporter Lisa Myers, asked the lawyers if they found overcharged data in every single transaction they said yes.  They want on to say that there was never an instance where a data discrepancy fell in the favor of the consumer.

The class action lawsuit is alleging that AT&T “Systematically overstated the amount of data used on virtually every transaction”.  AT&T responded by saying the charges were “…without merit and reflects a misunderstanding of how data is consumed and billed.”

Check out the MSNBC video report below:

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Source: MSNBC via Technobuffalo

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  • Lazarus2047

    If found guilty each bill they mailed to customers be considered one count of mail fraud?

  • http://twitter.com/itnoles Jonathan Steele

    Was Data Roaming is enabled?

  • Mytharak

    Omg apps can use data while the phone is not in use?!?!?! Who knew?

    Personally I thing the charges are valid, the data was used, and they got what they deserved.

    I don’t see the lawsuit going anywhere.

  • Anonymous

    hows your job at at&t going

  • Anonymous

    this isn’t the first time at&t has been in trouble for RIPPING OFF customers. lets not forget the “internet taxes” they just got sued for collecting. why at&t is still allowed to stay in business makes no sense. they need to be forced to go out of business. they don’t deserve to be a part of the economy. they’re only helping to further destroy and pervert it.

    SOURCE: http://www.ppcgeeks.com/2011/06/07/att-settles-billion-dollar-lawsuit/

    http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2011/06/the-law-that-will-make-att-pay-almost-1-billion-to-consumers.ars

  • Anonymous

    roaming has nothing to do with this…who are they going to roam off of? t-mobile? they have a roaming agreement. this is about at&t once again slapping bogus charges to people’s bills because their greed is never quenched.

  • Guest

    Now they need to go after them to allow use of a smart phone without a data plan . I would love to give my kids my old iphone and let them use the voice and wifi . no need for 3g . but ATT has to be greedy

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_XCSDX3X4PFOKB3S6GQ42KWBQEM Brandon

    They just stole my unlimited plan cause I bought a iPhone 4 from a 3rd party and updated my IMEI code cause they were saying I was tethering… I wasn’t, truly! They say it was cause I modified the contract when I “upgraded” my phone. I thought an upgrade to them was when you signed another contract for a reduced price phone??? F**k ‘Em! Sprint here I come!Forgot to mention I only have 3 months left on my contract too? AT&T your poor business decisions will soon bite you in some very sensitive areas…