A new federal class action lawsuit alleges that “AT&T’s bills systematically overstate the amount of data used on each data transaction involving an iPhone or iPad account.” The legal document submitted on behalf of plaintiff Patrick Hendricks, goes on to say that AT&T’s scheme is similar to a rigged gas pump that “charges for a full gallon when it pumps only nine-tenth of a gallon into your car’s tank.”
A two month study done by a consulting firm hired by the plaintiff ‘s lawyer discovered that web traffic was typically overstated by 7 to 14 percent and potentially in excess of 300 percent. For instance, if an iPhone user downloaded 50KB of web data that AT&T would bill that as 53.5KB and potentially as high as 150KB.
The suit also alleges that AT&T not only over bills but bills customers even when they aren’t using data. The consulting firm purchased an iPhone from an AT&T store and left it inactive for 10 days—no push notifications, locations services, email accounts or apps—and the account still received a billing for 2,292KB of data spread over 35 transactions.
AT&T has just responded with the following: “Transparent and accurate billing is a top priority for AT&T. In fact, we’ve created tools that let our customers check their voice and data usage at any time during their billing cycle to help eliminate bill surprises. We have only recently learned of the complaint, but I can tell you that we intend to defend ourselves vigorously.”