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AT&T Systemic Over Billing Case Scuttled
Thanks to AT&T's Arbitration Fine Print
by Karl Bode 09:28AM Tuesday Nov 01 2011
Back in January we noted that AT&T was facing a new class action lawsuit accusing the carrier of over-charging both iPad and iPhone customers for data. According to the lawsuit, AT&T not only artificially inflates actual data usage estimates anywhere from between 7 and 300%, but the company bills for data when the phone or tablet is disabled or unused. With AT&T recently getting the green light to bury fine print in user contracts banning customers from participating in such class actions, that case is now heading to arbitration. AT&T and other ISPs prefer arbitration because the arbitrators are generally companies hired by the ISPs, who -- at least based on data in the credit card industry -- tend to rule in favor of their employer 94% of the time. The original suit sought restitution and class damages for breach of contract, unjust enrichment, unfair and fraudulent business practices, unfair competition, and violations of the federal Communications Act.

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FFH5
Premium
join:2002-03-03
Tavistock NJ
kudos:5

Here is link on court ruling on AT&T over ipad/iphone suit

»www.courthousenews.com/2011/10/28/41037.htm

In a two-month study of AT&T's billing practices, lead plaintiff Patrick Hendricks claimed to have discovered that the company systematically overstates web server traffic by 7 percent to 14 percent. In some cases, AT&T overbilled by 300 percent, the study allegedly found. Hendricks also claimed that AT&T bills for "phantom data traffic" when there is no actual data usage initiated by the consumer.

But iPhone-use contracts bar lawsuits at this stage, U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer found. The contract "requires the use of arbitration on an individual basis to resolve disputes, rather than jury trials or class actions, and also limits the remedies available ... in the event of a suit."

In so ruling, the court rejected Hendricks' claims that AT&T "routinely" passes on the costs of arbitration to consumers by alleging that the customer has breached contract and that pursuing the case on an individual basis would be prohibitive.

Breyer issued a stay in the case while arbitration is underway.


--
»www.politico.com/rss/2012-election.xml
»www.politico.com/rss/2012-election-blog.xml


KrK
Heavy Artillery For The Little Guy
Premium
join:2000-01-17
Tulsa, OK

2 recommendations

Re: Here is link on court ruling on AT&T over ipad/iphone suit

"We can screw you, and if you find out, you can't do shizzle! Lol we win."

When you remove all legal recourse, all that's left is the illegal recourse.
--
"Fascism should more properly be called corporatism because it is the merger of state and corporate power." -- Benito Mussolini
Candew

join:2005-09-23
N. America

Signing Away Your Rights

Telcos can't take their chances with either judges or juries should a case make it to court. It's not good for business.

IPPlanMan
Holy Cable Modem Batman

join:2000-09-20
Washington, DC
kudos:1

Not Surprising

The Deathstar strikes again...

Hopefully Sprint can force them back to an unlimited data plan...

Reminds me in a way of the "Fight Club" recall scene:

»www.youtube.com/watch?v=wIdmkETuWeM

Morac
Cat god

join:2001-08-30
Riverside, NJ
kudos:1

Re: Not Surprising

Considering that Sprint is starting to drop their unlimited data plans, I don't see that happening.

Tomek
Premium
join:2002-01-30
Valley Stream, NY

Accuracy and Bad Data

How can you meter something when you don't have accurate method of doing so? Gas meter, water meter, electricity meter, are somewhat regulated either by industry or government. I think even at the pump there is a calibration seal or something.

I download ROM images over the air, if unreliable data cancels my transfer then I AM responsibly for THEIR failure?
--
Semper Fi
zefie

join:2007-07-18
Hudson, NY
Reviews:
·Verizon Wireless..
·DSL EXTREME

Re: Accuracy and Bad Data

You are responsible for all data transmitted. Including TCP/IP overhead, retransmission failures, and probably even authentication to the mobile network.

And for 500mb that never happened

fuziwuzi
Not born yesterday
Premium
join:2005-07-01
Atlanta, GA

2 recommendations

"job creator"

But AT&T is a JOB CREATOR, they get special privileges and breaks. Leave AT&T and the rest of America's great corporations alone, let them make profits in any way they can so they can create jobs! Why do these "customers" hate America?


--
Teabaggers: Destroying America is Priority #1

R4M0N
Brazilian Soccer Ownz Joo

join:2000-10-04
Glen Allen, VA

1 recommendation

Re: "job creator"

said by fuziwuzi:

But AT&T is a JOB CREATOR, they get special privileges and breaks. Leave AT&T and the rest of America's great corporations alone, let them make profits in any way they can so they can create jobs! Why do these "customers" hate America?


Thanks for staying on topic there, sport. Even my 4 year-old could see the gaping holes in that ball of fallacies...

fuziwuzi
Not born yesterday
Premium
join:2005-07-01
Atlanta, GA

Re: "job creator"

said by R4M0N:

said by fuziwuzi:

But AT&T is a JOB CREATOR, they get special privileges and breaks. Leave AT&T and the rest of America's great corporations alone, let them make profits in any way they can so they can create jobs! Why do these "customers" hate America?


Thanks for staying on topic there, sport.

It is an indirect commentary ON THE TOPIC, "sport".
--
Teabaggers: Destroying America is Priority #1

R4M0N
Brazilian Soccer Ownz Joo

join:2000-10-04
Glen Allen, VA

Re: "job creator"

LOL... The only thing "on topic" was the name of the company.

nothing00

join:2001-06-10
Centereach, NY

Re: "job creator"

100% on topic bub. How do you think this came about? Do you think it's the socialist over regulators that encouraged companies to have super human powers? Since you don't seem to be good at this game I'll give you a hint - no, it's the fools that cry the "over regulation is killing our JOBS" mantra that are to blame allowing corporations to run the country.

R4M0N
Brazilian Soccer Ownz Joo

join:2000-10-04
Glen Allen, VA

Re: "job creator"

No, Junior...

It's dumbasses who think government should control every single facet of our lives who have willingly handed politicians so much power that companies have realized that all they need to do is buy the criminals to gain complete control over legislation.

If govenment didn't have almost absolute power to dictate winners, companies wouldn't spend the money buying the politicians.

Only a fool claims regulation is not needed. But a bigger fool will claim "over regulation" is not killing jobs.

TKJunkMail
Premium
join:2005-12-09
I don't see the mod tag on your avatar...

jseymour

join:2009-12-11
Waterford, MI

1 recommendation

said by R4M0N:

Thanks for staying on topic there, sport. Even my 4 year-old could see the gaping holes in that ball of fallacies...

Uhm... I think your sarcasm detector is in need of re-calibration

Jim

R4M0N
Brazilian Soccer Ownz Joo

join:2000-10-04
Glen Allen, VA

Re: "job creator"

There's no sarcasm in his post... His signature and past posts are all that's needed to see that.
Rekrul

join:2007-04-21
Milford, CT
said by R4M0N:

said by fuziwuzi:

But AT&T is a JOB CREATOR, they get special privileges and breaks. Leave AT&T and the rest of America's great corporations alone, let them make profits in any way they can so they can create jobs! Why do these "customers" hate America?


Thanks for staying on topic there, sport. Even my 4 year-old could see the gaping holes in that ball of fallacies...

Look up! That's the sarcasm plane you see going over your head.

elwoodblues
Elwood Blues
Premium
join:2006-08-30
Somewhere in
kudos:2
said by fuziwuzi:

But AT&T is a JOB CREATOR

In India.

Bill Neilson
Premium
join:2009-07-08
Arlington, VA

Sounds about right. AT&T and others

have done a brilliant job forcing consumers to have no outlet for their issues with AT&T. Add in that AT&T and others have nobody to fine them or slap them down when they step over the line?

Its no wonder AT&T does what they want whenever they want

n2jtx

join:2001-01-13
Glen Head, NY

Yet Another Reason

Yet another reason I despise AT&T and want nothing to do with them. I currently have service with T-Mobile and will drop that if/when AT&T takes them over. My firm gave me an iPhone 4S with Sprint as an early Christmas present and that will most likely be my main phone. I realize company's act in their best interest but AT&T seems to go out of its way to lie, cheat, steal, obfuscate in order to do business. There is "legal" and there is "moral" and the two rarely intersect. Many companies work to maintain morality but AT&T seems to consider it an alien concept.

I should point out that despite how others felt about it, I did have grudging respect for the original AT&T, not this SBC renamed AT&T abomination. Yes they were a monopoly but they were highly regulated, made good products (Western Electric) and contributed a lot to science (Bell Labs). By the time I started interacting with them as a customer in the early 1980's (before the breakup), they allowed you to do your own wiring and own your own phones which were major concerns for me. I recall in the 1970's when having an unauthorized extension phone on your line could get your service suspended. Thankfully, regulation took care of that.
--
I support the right to keep and arm bears.

jseymour

join:2009-12-11
Waterford, MI

Re: Yet Another Reason

said by n2jtx:

Yet another reason I despise AT&T and want nothing to do with them.

+1

We're about to dump the vast majority of our business with "AT&T" at work. (Can't get away from a limited number of CO trunks and a couple POTS lines, unfortunately.) We don't use "AT&T" for wireless.

I don't use "AT&T" for wireless and wouldn't have them on a bet. (I know of only one or two friends and colleagues who do, in fact.) I'm strongly considering dumping our "AT&T" landline at home.

I won't say I hate "AT&T," because "hate" is an exceedingly strong word, but I do dislike the company intensely.

Jim
WhatNow
Premium
join:2009-05-06
Charlotte, NC

Re: Yet Another Reason

There was a story a law firm was hitting the company with arbitration claims by the thousands. If the company loses one it may be in trouble.

kara

@comcast.net
Same here...............AT&T can blow smoke up someone else butt.
jj_frap

join:2003-12-15

RISE UP!!!

This is why we need a strong socialist government that will put the media, entertainment, and telecommunication pigs in their fucking place.
Kearnstd
Space Elf
Premium
join:2002-01-22
Mullica Hill, NJ
kudos:1

there are decaying choices

as will likely show up in a thread here is someone stating to read the contract first. downside is the major carriers are all going to this clause because a court case is bad for business, they cannot risk having shady business dealings and contracts let out into the open.
--
[65 Arcanist]Filan(High Elf) Zone: Broadband Reports

GlobalMind
Domino Dude, POWER Systems Guy
Premium
join:2001-10-29
Hollywood, FL

Case is doomed

Part of what will cause the arbitration, or any actual case against AT&T for that matter to fail is that the customer is going to have to prove categorically that AT&T's overbilling, and do so with some measurement device that the parties can agree is accurate.

The likelihood of that happening is pretty slim. AT&T will claim the accuser's method is flawed or fruadulent. Accuser says AT&T's method is flawed or fraudulent. So what's the common measurement point?

Lots of folks here talk about using such devices on home routers or by other means to watch traffic in & out of their networks at home to cover themselves against caps & fees. Yet I don't believe those have really been tested in court, and it's unlikely they will if the carriers can just contract away your right to a day in court.

The ruling by SCOTUS now makes all of this activity the norm, and fully allowed. Unfortunate outcome there for sure.
--
TheGlobalMind.com / Speed costs money. How fast do you want to go? / Trust the instinct to the end, though you can render no reason. - Ralph Waldo Emerson / Free market capitalism is the best path to prosperity.

mod_wastrel
iamwhatiam

join:2008-03-28
kudos:1

Then contact your local AG

to file a criminal fraud case--no contract required.

IowaCowboy
Iowa native
Premium
join:2010-10-16
Springfield, MA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Verizon Broadban..
·Comcast

Good thing I have Verizon

I have unlimited data on my iPhone and I am keeping it. I ditched AT&T last March and I transfered the rest of my AT&T family share plan to my mother. I have been begging her to switch to Verizon.

When the storm hit this past weekend (with widespread power outages and we lost power for three days and many are still without power), AT&T coverage became very spotty and my mother's phone did not work. On the other hand, my Verizon iPhone and my 4G MiFi worked good like it does everyday. I even got 4G speeds on my MiFi while the power was out.

I guess Verizon has backup generators on all of their cell sites and AT&T only has generators on a select few. Or maybe AT&T is too cheap to have generators and they deploy portable cell sites to areas without power.