While AT&T has become renowned across the country because of its success with Apple’s iPhone, a new lawsuit is developing regarding data overbilling that may see the communications giant seeing red. The Berniard Law Firm, as part of its ongoing efforts to protect consumers from unfair company policies, is looking into nationwide reports that AT&Ts billing practices are unfair and have left people charged for services they did not utilize.
Reports are emerging that AT&T may be billing customers a set expectation or presumed usage that does not take into account actual service utilization. In test cases, some are finding that, despite all data-based services being turned off and the device unused, data usage charges are still occurring. While the overage is relatively small, combined with the millions (some estimate more than 6 million) of cell phones out there, AT&T stood to profit a serious amount of money. As this money is derived from overage fees, especially against those with 200 MB plans, the effects could be widespread and amount to millions of ill-gained dollars.
Unfair business practices often rely upon these sort of seemingly trivial discrepancies that, in the end, turn out to lead to surprisingly large amounts of money. The DataPlus plan, which provides AT&T users with 200 MB of data for $15 per month, is the minimum required for the iPhone. When one reads the fine print on AT&Ts website regarding the DataPlus plan, you can see that exceeding the initial data allowance (200MB) leads to a customer being automatically charged an additional $15 for each additional 200 MB provided. As these overage “allowances” do not roll over but, instead, must be used in the billing period they were charged, it is inherently possible that hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of AT&T customers went just “a little bit over” and ended up being charged $15. Because AT&T does not take into account this possibility “silent” connectivity that can lead to overages despite no clear usage, it is definitely possible to go over without knowing it despite carefully planning your usage. This simply is not only unfair but unlawful.
Though, again, the costs to consumers may not be all that great for these overages, the reality is that unfair business practices that include overage charging like this are all too rampant and represent a problem in America involving corporate greed and laziness. The Berniard Law Firm will be conducting its own tests on this matter and is looking for any AT&T customers that suspect they have fallen prey to this deceptive practice to give us a call and explain their situation. As we have in the event of chemical leaks and oil spills, our firm expects to represent anyone victimized in this possible data overage scam in court.