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: