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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. epignosis567's Avatar
      epignosis567 -
      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.
    1. pacmac's Avatar
      pacmac -
      Bring back unlimited data..problem solved..I have unlimited data and I can survive off it..I don't really use the phone/text in my iPhone..the future is VoIP/push..AT&T should do rollover data and not charge data use if a user is on AT&T web site/app checking there accounts
    1. liquidzoo's Avatar
      liquidzoo -
      Quote Originally Posted by pacmac View Post
      Bring back unlimited data..problem solved..I have unlimited data and I can survive off it..I don't really use the phone/text in my iPhone..the future is VoIP/push..AT&T should do rollover data and not charge data use if a user is on AT&T web site/app checking there accounts
      Ah, but that would be the smart thing to do...

      We all know how smart big business can be...
    1. jeffhesser's Avatar
      jeffhesser -
      i don't know that i trust lawyers to be technical experts in this case.... know if they flat turnd the data on the phone off and were still charged then i'd say they have something but i'd bet this is not the case. If they were charging for data that wasn't happening it would be pretty easy to prove with some scientific tests (beyond 'we clicked off on all of the notifications switches'). Plus, there is a data counter on your phone so if you don't turn wifi on that number should match with ATT's number. If those numbers match then it's Apple who is screwing you, not ATT.
    1. Phillip Swanson's Avatar
      Phillip Swanson -
      Quote Originally Posted by jeffhesser View Post
      i don't know that i trust lawyers to be technical experts in this case.... know if they flat turnd the data on the phone off and were still charged then i'd say they have something but i'd bet this is not the case. If they were charging for data that wasn't happening it would be pretty easy to prove with some scientific tests (beyond 'we clicked off on all of the notifications switches'). Plus, there is a data counter on your phone so if you don't turn wifi on that number should match with ATT's number. If those numbers match then it's Apple who is screwing you, not ATT.
      That's why they hired an independent computer research firm to monitor the data usage on the monitored phones. I'm not sure if the phone that was purchased new and sat for 10 days was monitored by the independent computer firm, they never made that distinction.
    1. CustomSS1's Avatar
      CustomSS1 -
      It's sad to hear that people wont be able to trust their phone network provider :/

      Though this doesn't concern me cause I don't have AT&T
    1. fbiryujin's Avatar
      fbiryujin -
      This is why I'm on Verizon. Unlimited data, and no worries. When I first switched to AT&T for Verizon, I noticed tons of shady sh!t in addition to the failed calls, and poor reception. Switching back was the best thing ever.
    1. tma's Avatar
      tma -
      Quote Originally Posted by jeffhesser View Post
      i don't know that i trust lawyers to be technical experts in this case.... know if they flat turnd the data on the phone off and were still charged then i'd say they have something but i'd bet this is not the case. If they were charging for data that wasn't happening it would be pretty easy to prove with some scientific tests (beyond 'we clicked off on all of the notifications switches'). Plus, there is a data counter on your phone so if you don't turn wifi on that number should match with ATT's number. If those numbers match then it's Apple who is screwing you, not ATT.
      If it was apple then it won't be limited to just at&t it would an issue spread around the globe.
    1. Zeal's Avatar
      Zeal -
      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.
      ahjahha amen
    1. bignighttrain's Avatar
      bignighttrain -
      This guy is right on I'm not worried about the data phantom but my brother I got him an iPhone 4 on my account and AT&T says he is going over his data every month when he uses my home wifi and bairly uses the phone for calling. So I called AT&T and they told me he was so he left his iPhone here for a week powered off and they said he made 411 calls and went 2 & 1/2 gigs which is BS how do we go by getting in on this lawsuit thanks.
    1. i.Annie's Avatar
      i.Annie -
      It's either this is true or AT&T's system is delayed. Because I've had nothing but trouble with AT&T and my capped 2GB data plan. And I didn't even tether at that time when I had AT&T.

      It's a load of crap either way. When I go over 2GB, I have to pay $10 for another 1GB which is fine except that it always happens 2 or 3 days before my new cycle starts. And its funny because I would check on the day of the new cycle and there's 165MB used already on that morning. So what? I used 165MB as I was sleeping over night? Or it just decided the 165MB doesn't go on the previous bill that I paid $10 extra for that overage, and it goes on my new bill with the 2GB I pay for already monthly.

      It's either they were adding 160+MB of "phantom" data on the first morning of my new cycles every month or the system is so delayed that it doesn't stick the usage from a day ago on the bill it is supposed to be on and stuck it to the new bill. That's 160+MB of my 2GB that is gone for every new cycle. It's a load of crap, and it happened every single month for 6 months that I had AT&T.
    1. MrWHOx's Avatar
      MrWHOx -
      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.
      Dude, they're probably charging other people to compensate for your constant tethering.
    1. hopethemodworx's Avatar
      hopethemodworx -
      Yeah Eff AT&T...greedy,crappy service and costly plans. Bring back true unlimited data!!!
    1. mmaboi21's Avatar
      mmaboi21 -
      Darn att, I'm switching to Verizon when the 5 comes out.
    1. mmaboi21's Avatar
      mmaboi21 -
      Although
      I have a 2gb cap and I haven't went over or noticed any overcharges.

      But just hearing about this pisses me off.
    1. flrdotcom's Avatar
      flrdotcom -
      i am fortunate to have an unlimited plan.
    1. C_firoth's Avatar
      C_firoth -
      And they wonder why everyone want to unlock the iPhone.
    1. i.Annie's Avatar
      i.Annie -
      Quote Originally Posted by mmaboi21 View Post
      Although
      I have a 2gb cap and I haven't went over or noticed any overcharges.

      But just hearing about this pisses me off.
      Because you don't use as much data as some others do, you won't notice anything. I want to say this is because the system is delayed, rather than go into the "phantom" data charges (which may or may not be true as well). If you don't use it often enough, the delay of the system will catch up quicker and more efficiently because there isn't that much to process/enter into the system.

      Not sure if that made sense...works in my head Either way the delay is a cheat too.
    1. <(O)> Device's Avatar
      <(O)> Device -
      Unlimited Data!
    1. Donnutt's Avatar
      Donnutt -
      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.
      This attitude really pisses me off. The iPhone's Internet connection was never meant for a constant full time Internet connection. It's attitudes like this that make AT&T come after people for tethering. People that use a high amount of data per month are bogging the network and making the service worse for everyone else. Even if I had the unlimited plan I doubt if I would use more than 1-2 gb per month, and I stream pandora, browse all the time, and ALWAYS update my apps over 3G. I also tether to my laptop whenever I don't have wifi. Enough with the "stick it to the man" attitude. I hope AT&T puts you on a limited plan and frees up more bandwidth for the rest of us.