AT&T Faces Class Action Suit Over iPhone, iPad Data Overbilling

A California man has sued AT&T for over billing him on data charges for his iPhone, a move that could raise new questions on the carrier's billing practices.One of the plaintiffs, Patrick Hend uses the $15 monthly 200MB plan, and apparently became suspicious after he was charged overage fees for using 223MB worth of data […]

A California man has sued AT&T for over billing him on data charges for his iPhone, a move that could raise new questions on the carrier's billing practices.

One of the plaintiffs, Patrick Hend uses the $15 monthly 200MB plan, and apparently became suspicious after he was charged overage fees for using 223MB worth of data across 259 data connections. His lawyers say that their research showed that AT&T was regularly over billing customers between 7 and 145 over actual data usage, and in some cases as much as 300%. For a 50KB page AT&T will bill you for between 53.5KB and 150KB.

AT&T's billing errors on a customer basis mayn't be that large. However, apply that across all iPhone customers and it has a "huge effect" on the bottom line for the company, Hendricks' lawyers claim in the suit. "A significant portion of … data revenues were inflated by AT&T's rigged billing system for data transactions," they wrote.

A test iPhone account found that even with all apps closed, push and location services disabled, and the device unused, AT&T billed the account for over 2,292KB of usage over a period of ten days. "This's like the rigged gas pump charging you when you never even pulled your car into the station," Hendricks' suit continues.

Hendricks is asking for compensation, and also for class-action status for his suit. If that occurs, AT&T could become liable for over billing all of its iPhone users -- a potentially costly settlement.

[tags]class action,phantom data,billing,rigged billing,internet,mobile internet[/tags]