Up to 20 million Americans 'overcharged' by AT&T for data usage


AT&T are 'systematically overcharging' up to 20 million Americans who use their iPhone or iPad to access data on the go, an investigation has uncovered.

The lawsuit alleges the phone giant routinely over charges customers between 7 and 14 per cent, and in some cases up to 300 per cent. In tests, engineers said they found the company charged for downloading data and surfing the web even when the iPhones remained untouched.

Speaking to MSNBC, lawyer Barry Davis who worked on the suit, said: 'It's like a rigged gas pump.

'Where when you go to the gas station and ask for a gallon of gas but only get 9/10's.'

When asked by a reporter whether his team found overcharging for every single transaction, he replied: 'yes, every single one.'

The reporter the asked: 'Did you ever find a discrepancy where the customer was undercharged?'

Mr Davis replied: 'Never. Always an overcharge, never an undercharge.'

Over 20 million Americans have iPhones or iPads  with AT&T, who until a few months ago were the sole network allowed to sell the phones.

In order to test the allegations, the team bought several new iPhones, disabled all software that would automatically access the internet or download data and left them on, but un touched, for 10 days.

When they received the bill, they found AT&T had charged them for 35 different transactions.

Independent engineers also measured the amount of data downloaded in a series of tests, and then compared the results to the bill sent by AT&T.

They found that in every case AT&T overcharged by between 7-14 per cent, and in some cases by as much as 300 per cent.

Speaking to MSNBC, AT&T customer Mike Stewart said: 'Its just like someone stealing those minutes away from you.  'There just robbing the time from your plan.'

At&T responded by saying the allegations were: 'Without merit' and 'reflect a misunderstanding of the way data is measured.'

The company said some apps have software that runs in the background or is automatically updated which may use data that consumer isn't aware of.

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