AT&T Hit with iPhone Data Charges Lawsuit

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iPhone user Patrick Hendricks filed a lawsuit against AT&T last week alleging the cell service provider is intentionally overcharging customers for their wireless data usage. The suit also claims AT&T has been adding charging customers for data transfers that never actually occurred.

The lawsuit states “AT&T’s billing system for iPhone and iPad data transactions is like a rigged gas pump that charges for a full gallon when it pumps only nine-tenths of a gallon into your car’s tank.”

Mr. Hendricks claimed he has been forced to curtail his data usage to stay well below his 200MB monthly data cap in order to account for phantom data usage that will show up on his bill. He limited “his data usage to attempt to avoid incurring such fees, which prevented him from making full, or nearly full, use of the 200MB of data that he pays for every month.”

A consulting firm that Mr. Hendricks’s lawyers hired claimed data usage on a new iPhone they tested showed 2.2MB of usage in a month even though location services and push notification were disabled, no apps were running, and no email accounts had been set up.

In response to media questions, an AT&T spokesperson stated “We have only recently learned of the complaint, but I can tell you that we intend to defend ourselves vigorously. Transparent and accurate billing is a top priority for AT&T.”

Mr. Hendricks filed his lawsuit in California, and is asking for class action status.

[Thanks to Computerworld for the heads up.]

Comments

webjprgm

So how would I check if I’m being affected by this?  Last month I got email notification that I was nearing my 200MB limit when generally I use only around 30-60MB.  I assumed it was a combination of using Google Maps more than usual (Christmas vacation driving all over) and some app updates occurring over 3G (even though I thought I’d stopped them all, I wasn’t sure one didn’t somehow un-pause).  So can I check somewhere to see what data usage I should have had?

Lee Dronick

I am wondering if the ads we see in the apps could be causing the increase in data usage.

Lee Dronick

Last month I got email notification that I was nearing my 200MB limit when generally I use only around 30-60MB.? I assumed it was a combination of using Google Maps more than usual (Christmas vacation driving all over)

I just went to AT&T and took a look at the last 6 months of my data usage. I had a peak in November when I went on a road trip and used 3G a lot. December was low, but then January was almost as high as November and I can’t yet explain that.

webjprgm

I am wondering if the ads we see in the apps could be causing the increase in data usage.

What about games that connect to GameCenter too?

computerbandgeek

I have actually found the opposite to be true. If I go to general->usage and reset the data counter at the beginning of my billing cycle, the iPhone reports using 25% more data than AT&T bills me for. I’ve never really figured that one out.

@Sir Harry: I always think about that, when I have many retina display optimized animations downloaded to my device over the course of only a few minutes. I wonder if at least the iAds are cached since there are only like 5 different iAds in the whole world.

Lee Dronick

We, my wife and I, are grandfathered on the unlimited data plan so this doesn’t affect us. Well who knows what AT&T changes are in the future. Anyway, to date I don’t think that we have used more than 100MB per month.

Alex From Florida

They are really doing a scam. We need more complains to change this scam. They new this sins everyone started getting iPhone that the would change.

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