iPhone And iPad Users Cheated By AT&T’s Rigged Billing System
1 February 2011 – A federal court judge in California has been asked to grant class action status to a lawsuit filed against AT&T. Patrick Hendricks claims AT&T systematically cheats and overcharges iPhone and iPad users on data usage.
The allegations include data usage inflation and adding phantom traffic in order to charge extra for the capped data plan surplus. This lawsuit comes in the wake of AT&T announcements of a $1.1 billion gain in wireless revenue last quarter. It is alleged that a significant portion of that revenue is from systematic cheating of iPhone and iPad users.
The complaint lodged states that AT&T’s billing system is rigged to regularly inflate incoming data from 7% to 14% more. This was evidenced by a consulting firm hired by Hendricks’ lawyers to prove their case.
The lawsuit goes as far as stating that AT&T adds and charges for nonexistent data transfers. Tests such as disabling all push notifications and location services, no email, and no apps, to follow AT&T billing. Phantom usage appeared on the bill regardless.
The lawsuit claims “this is like a rigged gas pump charging you when you never even pulled your car into the station.” Hendricks not only says he was overcharged and cheated for data usage that didn’t happen but that it’s systematic practice. Hendricks is not the only client that complained of cheating.
AT&T clients that have a capped data plan would be eligible to join the lawsuit if it’s granted class-action status. An AT&T spokesperson said it would be defend itself against allegations vigorously. No kidding.
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