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. while this is not a contract… aren’t data plans subject to change? don’t people read that obnoxiously long agreeing to terms when they sign up for the pay per month plan. i didn’t read it but i’m sure it’s somewhere there hahahahah.

  2. I say Apple should immediately withdraw from all plans with ATT including all services for current iDevices and go with a much superior carrier that is willing to take risks with Apple. [\sarcasm]

  3. @Lawyer
    “What’s supposed to happen is that regardless of who gets the money, Apple and/or AT&T;will think twice about pulling another bait and switch scam in the future.”

    Maybee, but if the penalty is only 25% of the extra profit ($130 for 3G- $30 for extra parts) then it is not much of a deterrent is it.
    I know, in Canada I ordered the 3G in expectation of getting the originally advertised $20 plan that would allow me to use my unused iPhone data, then after getting on the pre-order list, Rogers pulled the old, that was a mistake and pulled the offer. As I wanted my iPad on the first day I did not cancel, but I have not activated the 3G either, in hopes that Rogers will reinstate that plan at some point.

  4. You Americans don’t need lawsuits you need a stronger regulated market. I pay 30$ a month, new iPhone for 299, and no SIM-lock… iPad data plan even cheaper… Never had a dropped call, using it on a daily base. Umm, ah yes, but we are commies, we have a broken socialist system.. I enjoy it!

  5. As much as I hate to see excessive litigation, they have a valid point; unlimited data should be an option for everyone who purchased before they changed, as it was what was advertised.

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