Why Was There a Class Action Suit Filed Against AT&T?

Why Was There a Class Action Suit Filed Against AT&T?

The Federal Trade Commission filed a class-action lawsuit on behalf of AT&T Mobility customers for mobile cramming. The suit alleged that AT&T Mobility customers were routinely charged for services they did not order or use.

The lawsuit, which was filed in 2014, resulted in a $105 million settlement with the mobile provider. According to the suit, AT&T charged consumers for third-party services or subscriptions that were never authorized or ordered. Many AT&T customers were unaware that they routinely paid for unauthorized services, such as horoscope text messages, celebrity gossip, ringtones and wallpaper.

The complaint stated that AT&T was deceptive in hiding these charges from their customers. According to the FTC, AT&T grouped the phony charges with legitimate services to have them appear related to the user's core mobile service plan.

In addition to the $105 million settlement, the mobile provider is now required to receive consent before billing customers for third-party charges. AT&T is also required to provide refunds to customers who contact them about unauthorized third-party charges. Refunds are only rejected if AT&T has evidence that the customer consented to the third-party charge.

The FTC filed a separate suit, also in 2014, against AT&T Mobility for throttling the data transfer speeds of users with unlimited data plans.