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  • ATT Overcharging iPhone and iPad Users

    A class action lawsuit filed against AT&T is alleging the company is "systematically" overstating data usage for iPad and iPhone users.

    The group of lawyers heading the suit hired an independent computer firm to measure every time a group of iPhones and iPads used data in some way. Then they compared the observed data usage to the data usage AT&T claimed the devices used on their monthly bills. The lawyers claim that AT&T systematically over stated data usage by 7-14%. In some cases usage was overstated by as much as 300%. Every device tested was overcharged.

    The piece, shown on NBC's Today Show, contends that iPad and iPhone users regularly incur "phantom" data charges as well. One family complained about data usage being charged to their accounts while everyone in the house was asleep.

    However, the obvious argument would be that the less technically savvy might not realize they have push notifications enabled, thereby incurring charges over night while the phone wasn't in regular use. This isn't the case though.

    To further verify the claims of phantom data charges, and overstating, the lawyers purchased a brand new iPhone. They then turned off everything that could possibly trigger a data charge and let the phone sit for 10 days. When they checked the bill, 35 different data transactions had occurred during that time period.

    AT&T's argument is there is a misunderstanding of how data usage is consumed and billed. They maintain there are many apps that run in the background or are automatically updated using data the consumer isn't aware of.

    The lawyers admit the amount of extra money this costs consumers is small, $10-$15 a month, but with 20 million iPhone and iPad users that equates to big money. AT&T maintains most customers do not incur charges for exceeding their limits.

    For some reason I don't trust AT&T very much when it comes to this story. Have any ModMyi users experienced this "systematic" overstating of data usage?

    Source: Today
    This article was originally published in forum thread: ATT Overcharging iPhone and iPad Users started by Phillip Swanson View original post
    Comments 106 Comments
    1. BenderRodriguez's Avatar
      BenderRodriguez -
      Quote Originally Posted by epignosis567 View Post
      AT&T can kiss my black a s s! I have unlimited data and sometimes I tether my laptop even when there IS an Internet connection just to piss them off.
      Suck it AT&T.
      Unlimited tops out at 8 gigs or so they say, I've done 12 gigs 1 month and they never charged us

      My usage received is 139 gigs and I've had it less then a year on the unlimited data plan, this is thanks to Netflix, idk if they can see if the data is being used for tethering or Apps
    1. Ikemann888's Avatar
      Ikemann888 -
      This's why I hate AT&T...
    1. RICO_'s Avatar
      RICO_ -
      I Checked my data usage back in April and in a 24hr period my usage had increased just short of 200MB. Is that even possible with light browsing, location services on, push mail, no Bluetooth and no streaming?
    1. back9player's Avatar
      back9player -
      Quote Originally Posted by MrWHOx View Post
      Dude, they're probably charging other people to compensate for your constant tethering.
      that happens regardless...

      hell, att wants you to not only pay 50 bucks a month to get a better signal (mircocell) but they also want you to provide said signal to your neighbors for FREE! WTF?

      F att!!! and their billing dept.
    1. PatrickGSR94's Avatar
      PatrickGSR94 -
      While the article is alarming and makes me irritated against AT&T on the principle of the thing, I personally have had no such "phantom data charges" that I know of.

      I just checked my phone's data usage in Settings. I always reset my usage on the 27th of each month (when my billing period restarts) for quick checking of data usage. Right now the Sent and Received add up to 100.7 MB. I just checked my data usage on the AT&T website and they're reporting 100.57 MB as of 18 May. The discrepancy is likely due to push notifications while driving to work and while away at a meeting this morning (have wi-fi at home and at work).

      8 days left in my billing cycle, so yeah I'm not worried about it.
    1. kadinh's Avatar
      kadinh -
      I still have the unlimited data plan, so I really don't care...
    1. bigboyz's Avatar
      bigboyz -
      I don't know...I don't trust mega conglomerate corporations and damn sure don't trust lawyers...who does??? With that being said, is anyone really surprised a BIG BUSINESS is stealing from its customers?? hahaha i for one am not. I appreciate the awareness but what is really going to change? AT&T has deep pockets and from what i've seen in America $$ talks...will be interesting to see if this goes anywhere at all.
    1. PatrickGSR94's Avatar
      PatrickGSR94 -
      It'll probably look something like this:

      "Oh we're sorry we got caught tacking data charges onto your bill for no reason. Here's a $10 credit for your next bill." *phantom charges continue*

    1. eltighty's Avatar
      eltighty -
      and my data plan is too little so hat i tether using mywi give me all of mine
    1. 14u2nv's Avatar
      14u2nv -
      Unlimited with family plan and work discount FTW. $60/mo, never go over, never varies from the last bill, more rollover mins than I will ever use.

      BTW on an unrelated note: They gave me a free microcell, with free usage for a year. IT sucks! Every call I"ve made on it is broken up and staticy (is that a word?).
    1. Fortex24's Avatar
      Fortex24 -
      This has happened to me, until I called AT&T out on it.

      I had the unlimited plan since I bought a launch day iPhone 3. I moved North Dakota over two years ago which had no AT&T service, just Alltel (EDGE). About half a year ago I went and canceled my unlimited data plan and downgraded to 200mb, because only having Edge there was no way I'd be able to download/use that much data. About three months after I downgraded my plan AT&T bought out Alltel and upgraded the towers here to support 3G. Needless to say I was pissed. The first month with 3G and the 200mb plan I got pretty close to the cap, but didn't go over. The second month I was at 140mbs and in order to avoid the overage charge, disabled Edge and 3G via SBSettings (I left Wifi on). In a single night my phone downloaded nearly 40mbs of data a day before the billing cycle was to end. Over the day while keeping all data transferring off, I watched my data plan slowly tick up and over the 200mb mark.

      I called AT&T that evening and ripped them a new one over the phone, I got my $15 back for the overage charge.

      So unless SBSettings is broken and I'm a complete retard, I say that AT&T was charging me for data I did not use to tip me over the 200mb mark.

      If I could get some info for this class action, I'd love in on it. AT&T has hosed me for far too long.

      Edit: I forgot to mention that while I was on the phone ******** to AT&T I said "If you can show me a itemized list of how much data was transferred and to what DNS/IPs in the past day (the day I jumped 50+mbs with 3G/Edge turned off), then you can have my $15". As soon as I said that the customer service rep said "I'm sorry that's not possible to do, but we'll be happy to refund you your $15".

    1. PatrickGSR94's Avatar
      PatrickGSR94 -
      Just watched the Today show report. AT&T's claim that there are "apps running in the background" that use data and "update automatically" is complete and utter BS. If you turn off all location and notifications services and let the phone SIT for 10 days, there should be ZERO data usage!

      Yeah I would be pretty pissed if I knew that was happening on my phone. I still have yet to even come close to my 200MB limit but if I ever go over it you better believe I'll be picking apart my bill line-by-line.
    1. Donnutt's Avatar
      Donnutt -
      Quote Originally Posted by iFlash20 View Post
      Yeah AT&T claimed they were going to kick me off there network cause I was one of the top users of data even though I have an unlimited data plan.
      As long as you're paying for it, why should they care?
    1. toneatless's Avatar
      toneatless -
      my gf had the same problem on her iphone and after 4 months of calling att to get a $15 credit for the overusage, we finally went to apple store and got a new iphone. since then she hasn't had a problem with her data.
    1. steve-z17's Avatar
      steve-z17 -
      Quote Originally Posted by i.Annie View Post
      Quite a bold statement to make. Generalizations aren't very nice you know. Just bc I'm American doesn't make me a sucker, bud

      And I’m proud to be an American,
      where at least I know I’m free.
      And I wont forget the men who died,
      who gave that right to me.

      And I gladly stand up,
      next to you and defend her still today.
      ‘ Cause there ain’t no doubt I love this land,
      God bless the USA.

    1. Fortex24's Avatar
      Fortex24 -
      Contact Lieff Cabraser about your case

      The website of the class action lawsuit if you'd like to join in and kicking AT&T in the balls :>
    1. delusion950's Avatar
      delusion950 -
      Att wont bring back unlimited data and as to charging extra for data come on now. It's Att what did you expect.
    1. DJ-Kmac's Avatar
      DJ-Kmac -
      Yes I in fact have seen this, even while using wifi in my house and turning off 3G and edge somehow I am still being charged for data?? I actually complained that the only time I get charged for data is when I send pictures or videos, this makes no sense to me at all. But I am stuck in a two year contract and I can only hope that these attorneys can make some sort of difference. It is actually worse now because Internet at home is now being limited by AT&T also.

      As cartman from south park says " would you at least give me a pack of cigarettes before you **** me because I like to have a nice smoke after I've been ****ed."
    1. Italia411's Avatar
      Italia411 -
      Quote Originally Posted by steve-z17 View Post

      And I’m proud to be an American,
      where at least I know I’m free.
      And I wont forget the men who died,
      who gave that right to me.

      And I gladly stand up,
      next to you and defend her still today.
      ‘ Cause there ain’t no doubt I love this land,
      God bless the USA.

      Not to mention we (USA) pay $200 for an iPhone on a two year contract. Last time I checked Canada was $3-$400 on a three year contract. Go USA!! oh btw Att will tell you the iPhone uses more data than any other smartphone. I don't totally agree with that but I see how it could when almost every function of this wonderful device uses Internet.
    1. progamerz's Avatar
      progamerz -
      funny they only tested this on the iphone and ipad, they should be going after apple.

      att only supplies the internet and phone service for the device, att doesnt tell the phone to go online, the phone does. att is doing it's job by providing internet.

      what a waste of time.