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Lawsuit claims AT&T inflates customers' data use.

Discussion in 'Droid Forums Member News Depot' started by adjangs, Feb 1, 2011.

  1. adjangs
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    adjangs New Member

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    [​IMG]

    The lawsuit, filed in federal court in California, claims that AT&T has been charging customers for data that they never used. Evidence for the claim was gathered by a consulting firm that has said AT&T inflates data use by as much as 7-14% and sometimes 300% to bolster revenue. The lawsuit only applies to capped data plans, and also appears to be limited to iPhone and iPad contracts.

    An AT&T spokesman has responded to the lawsuit by saying, "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."

    Source: computerworld.com
  2. czerdrill
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    czerdrill New Member

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    dumb lawsuit. no chance that AT&T is doing this...most probably brought by somebody who used a lot of data and is peved at getting charged for it.
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 1, 2011
  3. adjangs
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    adjangs New Member

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    I think it's going to come down to how well that consulting firm did its job investigating. I mean, you cannot expect a smarphone to never update its clock through data can you? But then, would you expect those clock updates to take up 2,292 kb? That's what one phone racked up with all services turned off:

    "As proof of unfair practices, attorneys for the plaintiff say they hired an independent consulting firm to run tests on iPhone data downloads. In one case, the firm found a 50KB website was logged as a 53.5KB website. In another case, a consultant purchased a brand-new phone, turned off all services and still was billed for 35 data transactions totaling 2,292 KB of usage, the lawsuit alleges."

    msnbc.com
  4. A Nobody
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    A Nobody New Member

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    if its true then that is messed up.
  5. mack19318
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    mack19318 New Member

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    I switched from att because of that reason. Although I always cought it. Every month it seemed that 2 dumb phones with data turned off through att would be billed for data usage. One time they charged for ring tones and ring backs. The phone belongs to my 68 year old mother! After a lot of complaining and a supervisor they finally took the charges off. I kept telling them do you really think a 68 year old lady is using "dope boy" by gorilla zoe as her ring tone?

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  6. UrbanBounca
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    UrbanBounca Premium Member Premium Member

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    Why, though? You think that because they're "big business," they do no wrong? I'll keep my opinion til I hear a verdict, and I should recommend you do the same.

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  7. czerdrill
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    czerdrill New Member

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    you won't hear a verdict because it'll be dismissed or settled out of court. that's clear, no chance it's going to trial or anything.

    that being said, do i think at&t is purposely charging people for data when they don't use it? boosting revenue by inflating data sometimes by 300%? yeah, no i don't. and yeah it has everything to do with them being a big business. far too easy for them to be caught, and really the risks far outweigh the scant benefits of doing this.

    this will only have one of two outcomes. the case is dismissed completely, or at&t settles for some undisclosed amount and we wait for the next upset user to bring a lawsuit. these lawsuits are a dime a dozen, and not anything new. there's always a "conspiracy" out there...
  8. kodiak799
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    kodiak799 Well-Known Member

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    I don't really buy it, either. A study paid for by the plaintiff doesn't really qualify as fair and impartial. I have no idea how you can verify that their tests were, indeed, carried out with all services off.

    Worst case scenario is AT&T has some minor glitches in billing software (which is probably unlikely) and/or with a few apps. A successful lawsuit would identify those issues/apps and confirm it by identifying the flaws in the code.
  9. Dark_Jedi
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    Dark_Jedi New Member

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    I will say this... ATT is actually cheaper than Verizon and will help you out if you have an issue. Like my wife lost her iPhone 4 last year and they took off $164 dollars off my bill the next month.
  10. UrbanBounca
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    UrbanBounca Premium Member Premium Member

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    Translation: "Big business is never wrong."

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  11. czerdrill
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    czerdrill New Member

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    is that what you got from my post? that's odd...didn't think it was possible to be misconstrued that badly. people on DF surprise me everyday haha :icon_ banana:
  12. UrbanBounca
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    UrbanBounca Premium Member Premium Member

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    Yes, that's what I gathered. You said, "They'll either settle out of court or it will be dismissed." Would you consider settling out of court to be admitting guilt?

    The reason I ask is because none of your options allow for the plantiff to win against big business.

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  13. czerdrill
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    czerdrill New Member

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    I wouldn't consider settling out of court an admission of guilt...because it's not an admission of guilt, not legally or figuratively. you're suggesting that their is a gaping loophole in business law that allows companies to do as they please and just pay off those that sue them after admitting their guilt? that's rich. settling out of court happens because it's not worth it for the company to pursue a court case (meaning defending it will cost more than what they get out of it). And you're assuming that the settlement option is bought by AT&T? Lawyers go after big businesses all the time, like i said it's a dime a dozen these cases. They know these cases will be settled out of court, whether the company is guilty or not. When was the last time a big business was ever put on trial (other than things like Enron which was clearly guilty). Settling out of court has almost nothing to do with innocence and guilt and the fact that you think that implies your view of the justice system is very skewed.

    And the reason none of my options, in this case, allow the plaintiff to win, is because it's clearly a run of the mill, let me sue a big business case. it's nothing new. go to any courthouse and you'll see cases like this on the docket everyday. are there big businesses that employ shady practices? sure. is that the case here? absolutely not. at&t is not stupid enough to do something as transparent as overcharging their customers upwards of 300% to get some small return. if they did do that, they shouldn't be in business cuz that's quite possibly the stupidest way to get revenue i can imagine. like someone else mentioned, if there is some discrepancy in billing it would be caused by some glitch in their billing system or with some app, and not some malicious conspiracy by the bigwigs to milk people of money.

    Settlement has never meant an admission of guilt, and settling a case out of court can't be used against you the next day when you get sued again.
  14. KZIWarrior
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    KZIWarrior Active Member

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    @czerdrill - you're wasting your time trying to explain things to UrbanBounca. They are obviously of the mind that "big business can do no
    " and should be constantly ridiculed for the mistakes of their customers... further they obviously don't have a decent understanding of 1) our legal system or 2) business...

    As for the lawsuits ridiculous claims such as a "50KB website was logged as a 53.5KB website" and others... really... these people have no idea what is actually being transmitted. They probably also don't understand the difference between a 'file size' and the actual physical size a file is (for all those people, look at your computer, they are NOT always the same). Likewise when you view a website (from your phone or your computer) there is data transmitted both ways that can (and generally does) makes the total data required to access that site/file larger than the reported size of said site/file. Think about it, the data starts with the request to locate said site from the registries then the location information is sent back while the packets are rerouted so on and so on. You simply can NOT (under normal circumstances) connect to any site w/o additional data being sent and received (all of which is associated with that site for billing/tracing purposes). As for 'all service being turned of' unless said phone is generally rooted or otherwise hacked generally it is impossible to turn off all service... again stupid customer(s) not understanding their devices and that is NOT AT&Ts fault.​
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2011
  15. czerdrill
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    czerdrill New Member

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    haha wow i hadn't even heard about that 50KB vs 53KB thing. that makes this case even more ridiculous. what sucks is that at&t is going to lose money on such a stupid case by settling, but obviously they have no choice. sucks for them, but i guess it's good for the guy who has no idea how data transfer works...​
  16. adjangs
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    adjangs New Member

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    I don't pretend to be an expert, nor do I have personal knowledge of the case, but isn't it possible the consulting firm could have proved something beyond a doubt? Isn't it a little soon to be underestimating the investigation? For example, if a phone was placed inside a box that would prevent any communication of the phone with a tower, or if a phone was allowed only to communicate with a network extender device hooked up to a line through which the data-use could be monitored and logged..

    That said, I wouldn't be surprised if this lawsuit was based on no solid evidence.
  17. kodiak799
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    kodiak799 Well-Known Member

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    Problem is it's a study paid for by the plaintiff, and AT&T would have it's own paid study unable to replicate the results. There's just no way to prove that phone was in that box, unchanged, the entire time.

    I agree that this is just a nuisance case that AT&T will probably pay far less than we realize to simply go away. Only the lawyers will make a few bucks off of this.
  18. UrbanBounca
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    UrbanBounca Premium Member Premium Member

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    So, you're argument is that the firm hired, a firm hired for a specific purpose of counting data, has no idea how data is stored or transmitted? Is that your honest argument?

    For the record, disabling data should be just that, completely disabling data. It doesn't matter whether it's disabled from the handset or at a service level, it should be disabled. You keep blaming the customer, when the fact of the matter is that it may not be the customer. It doesn't matter whether it's a big business, they can make mistakes like any other business.

    Once again, this is a firm that apparently specializes in data use. Are you saying they don't know how to properly disable data on a phone?

    Is this another money lawsuit? Sure, it may be. But, when you're counting your data every month, and still getting charged overages, you have the right to question and get a detailed description for each transaction.​
  19. czerdrill
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    czerdrill New Member

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    well yeah, and all you have to do is ask AT&T. they'll explain your usage and provide detailed usage if you need it. i've had problems on my vzw bills before and a simple phone call explains or fixes any issue or discrepancy with my bill. you don't have to sue them...haha...this is a stupid case that has no merit. i honestly think it's just some dude who's upset because he went over and got charged and is trying to deflect responsibility. and in america clearly the only sensible answer would be "SUE SUE SUE!!!"...
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