Apple and AT&T hit with class action lawsuit over iPad unlimited data bait and switch

invisibleSHIELD case for iPadOn June 9, 2010, a consumer who purchased an Apple iPad with 3G capability and signed up for an AT&T data plan filed a nationwide class action lawsuit against Apple and AT&T for fraud and misrepresentation. On June 23, 2010, an amended complaint was filed adding two additional consumers as plaintiffs and further details in the factual allegations.

Plaintiffs allege that Apple and AT&T deceptively promoted that consumers could both sign up for an unlimited data plan and have the ability to switch, month by month, between that unlimited data plan or one with a 250MB limit as their needs changed.

Factual Allegations in the Complaint

As of June 7, 2010, Apple and AT&T decided to discontinue the “unlimited data” plan they had heavily advertised in connection with their sales of the 3G-enabled iPads. Apple and AT&T had promised consumers flexibility with their data plans, allowing them the ability switch back and forth between the limited data plan, the unlimited data plan, and no data plan.

The complaint alleges that iPad purchasers who initially opted for the limited data plan have been stripped of their ability to later opt for the unlimited data plan. Even those customers currently signed up for the unlimited data plan cannot switch to a limited plan and then later opt for the unlimited plan, as was originally promised. Apple and AT&T announced this policy change with less than one week’s notice to their customers and only about a month after Apple and AT&T began selling 3G-enabled iPads.

The complaint further alleges that consumers were convinced to opt for the more expensive 3G model, costing $130 more than a non-3G model, based on the advertised benefits of having an unlimited data plan and the freedom to continually switch in and out of that plan as their demand for data changed.

Proposed Class

Plaintiffs seek to represent a nationwide class consisting of all individuals and entities within the United States who purchased an Apple iPad 3G with an AT&T service plan.

Contact Us

Consumers who would like to report their experiences with the Apple iPad and their AT&T unlimited data plan, or who wish to learn more about the class action lawsuit, are welcome to contact an attorney at Lieff Cabraser by clicking here.

Source: Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP

MacDailyNews Take: We have no problem with this one at all. In fact, we might sign up for it ourselves.


  1. and what will happen? One million owners will join the suit, AT&T;will settle for 25 million, the lawyers will take half, and each customer will get $12. God belss America!!

    MDN Magic Word: half. How appropriate.

  2. And how will this help us? There goes another 25 million wasted, which should have been used to improve AT&T;’s network! Thanks a lot. I bought the iPad, and I don’t care enough about the change in data rates to justify suing the visionaries who built the thing for us! Leave apple out of the lawsuit. It’s not their fault.

  3. While I doubt alternatives are all that superior – the entire phone signal provider industry are in serious need of more federal regulation – the fact that I don’t get to decide exactly which one of them screws me makes me mad – and the greater target of my anxt is Steve Jobs.

    He needs to be named personally in this wonderful turn of legal events. I don’t care if the scummy lawyers get most of the money, just make the carriers and their co-conspirators (especially Steve Jobs) provide the service we are paying for and make them quit the deceitful marketing.

  4. Ever since Apple became #1 in tech worldwide, the viciousness of the posts here and elsewhere has reached astonishing proportions. My first impression was that the trolls were organizing and coming out in force, their hatred for being displaced understandable and to be expected.

    However, the contumely coming from erstwhile Apple fans has become just as acerbic of late. Steve and company can now do nothing right, it seems. ATT sucks, the iPad sucks, the new iPhone sucks, iOS 4 sucks, MobileMe sucks, 10.6.4 sucks–everything remotely connected to Apple Inc sucks.

    I’ve not seen anything like this, ever. Would that we could be #2 again; the times were much kinder and gentler.

  5. I have a feeling that Apple did not know about AT&T;’s plans to change their data plans a month after the iPad went on sale. I’m sure they were told before AT&T;publicly announced it, but not before they started advertising unlimited data. I hope AT&T;gets pummeled with this one.

  6. “Apple and AT&T;had promised consumers flexibility with their data plans, allowing them the ability switch back and forth between the limited data plan, the unlimited data plan, and no data plan.”

    Only one problem with that statement: neither Apple nor ATT said that.

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