AT&T accused of overcharging iPhone, iPad users for cellular data in latest lawsuit [Updated]

By on May 20, 2011 at 12:23 PM.

AT&T accused of overcharging iPhone, iPad users for cellular data in latest lawsuit [Updated]

An MSNBC investigative report, and related lawsuit, claims that AT&T has “systematically overstated” the data usage of iPhone and iPad customers. Lawyers for the plaintiffs, seeking class action status, hired an independent computer firm to compare the actual amount data used by iPhone and iPad customers with the amount that AT&T bills users for. “Did you find overcharges on every single transaction,” asked MSNBC’s Lisa Myers, speaking with the investigating firm’s representative. “Yes, every single one,” he responded. “Did you ever find an instance where the discrepancy worked to the benefit of the customer,” poses Myers as a follow-up question. “Never,” quipped the representative. “Always an overcharge; never an undercharge.” The study alleges that AT&T overstates customer data usage by 7% to 14% and, in some rarer cases, by up to 300%. To illustrate its point, the firm bought a new AT&T iPhone and line of service, “disabled everything that might trigger data usage,” and let the phone sit untouched for ten days. During that time period, thirty-five different data charges appeared on the virgin phone’s bill. AT&T responded to the report saying that the claims are “without merit” and that applications may auto-update or refresh in the background without a consumer’s knowledge or consent. Whatever the reasoning is for the purported up-charging, we’re sure this isn’t the last you’re going to hear about this one. A video clip of MSNBC’s report is waiting for you after the break.

UPDATE: An official statement from an AT&T spokesperson is after the break. More →

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T-Mobile sued over capped "unlimited" data plan

By on August 10, 2010 at 9:45 PM.

T-Mobile sued over capped "unlimited" data plan

A California smartphone user has filed a class-action lawsuit against his wireless provider, T-Mobile USA. The plaintiff became upset and sought legal council after T-Mobile sent him the following message:

Your data usage in this billing cycle has exceeded 10GB; Data throughput for the remainder of the cycle may be reduced to 50kbps or less.

According to the lawsuit, the plaintiffs phone became “virtually useless” after his data speeds were throttled, and the user is now stuck in a 2-year contract with the not-really-unlimited mobile provider. Regardless of your feelings on this particular filing, it will be interesting to see how the case is ruled. A judgement in the classes favor could spur a tidal wave of similar suits as many U.S. carriers tout “unlimited” data plans that actually have a data cap. Any guesses on how the plaintiff hit 10GB of data in under a month? Our guess is pictured above. More →

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