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December 4, 2012 / Alison Wilson

AT&T Pays $700,000 to Settle Claims for Overcharging Wireless Data Customers

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AT&T has agreed to pay $700,000 to settle claims made by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC)  that it overcharged wireless data customers.  According to
the FCC, AT&T switched customers using pay-as-you-go data plans to its mandatory monthly wireless data plans, even though AT&T promised pay-as-you-go customers that they could keep their existing data plan.  These “grandfathered subscribers” will receive refunds from AT&T for excess charges, which could be as much as $25 to $30 a month.

In September 2009, AT&T began requiring first-time smartphone subscribers or those who upgraded their phones to enroll in monthly data plans.  AT&T smartphone customers who had pay-as-you-go data plans and kept their old phones were allowed to keep their existing plans.  Issues arose when customers replaced their old phones without upgrading and were switched to the monthly data plan despite AT&T’s representation that customers could keep their pay-as-you-go plan.   AT&T began switching customers’ data plans in November 2009, prompting customer complaints and an FCC investigation.

FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski said, “These strong FCC accountability measures will ensure customers are not over-charged. I am pleased that AT&T is taking the appropriate steps to resolve this issue.”  AT&T also agreed to an extensive compliance plan, which includes: consumer notification, training of customer care representatives, and periodic compliance reports to the FCC.

If you feel your rights as a consumer have been violated, contact Khorrami, LLP for a confidential consultation.

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