Lawsuit accuses AT&T over overcharging for iPhone, iPad data

A new lawsuit claims that “AT&T is regularly overcharging iPhone and iPad owners for data consumption, a new lawsuit alleges,” Electronista reports.

“The case’s lawyers say they have spent $80,000 testing the claim, in one case buying a new iPhone and turning off anything that could impact 3G data use,” Electronista reports. “AT&T nevertheless ended up sending a bill for 35 data transactions.”

Electronista reports, “AT&T insists that the allegations are “without merit,” and also that customers misunderstand how data is charged. People may for instance be unaware of automatic app updates happening in the background, the company says. It may be referring to things like push notifications, which require status checks that consume small amounts of data.”

Read more in the full article here.


  1. Really? Sounds like it is time to round up all of lawyer and find a deep hole.

    People want/expect their iPhones to do all types of things but expect it all to happen without the support of computers in the cloud. Of course an iPhone needs to communicate, it’s a mobile communication device. 35 hits in a month is low in my opinion.

    1. Correct, but, also, grammar evolves. “Data” seems to be changing from a collective plural (e.g. cattle are) to whatever nouns like “air” are called. Although “air” has many components, and when we talk about “air”, we’re not usually talking about ALL air, we still say, “air is”.

      Hopefully, we won’t loose all good grammar. (that’s a joke)

    2. True, but honestly, how often do you hear someone use the word “datum.” Most people seem to think “data” is one of those words that can be both singular and plural (like “deer”), and in language, the prevailing opinion often becomes the rule.

  2. I can tell you that it is definitely happening. Both of my kids iphones were having massive data dumps to their phone from 12AM-3AM even though we have Wifi in our house. I have made multiple calls to ATT to have the charges taken off my bill. One rep told me that there are certain updates that have to take place overnight and can ONLY download through 3G. I called Apple to verify that and Apple said that was untrue. I am so glad it is finally coming out. The plan, as per the ATT rep at my last call was to disable 3G on the phone every night when my kids go to bed. What a great workaround?!? I make my kids use the *DATA# function every other day to follow their data use closely. ATT needs to fix this issue!!!

  3. I’d say stop whining. This is a capitalist society. If you’re unhappy with a product, vote with your feet and take your business elsewhere. ATT isn’t the only iPhone carrier in the US now – and if rumors are true, one more is about to join the fray. Competition. It’s s beautiful thing.

  4. I’ve been watching my data use on my AT&T iPhone 4 and it’s been spot on. I’ve actually been fairly surprised how little has been used. These lawsuit screwballs come out and piss and moan over the dumbest shit!

    1. same here.
      my 3G data plan for my iPad 2, i have never come close.
      i watch it with data apps that send me notifications to warn me.
      first is at 50%. i have seen it once since i got my iPad 2.
      i *could* probably get by with the 250mb plan.. but i know that there will be months during the summer that WILL push that 2gb limit.

      i saw the last lawsuit the guy was suing over a 6mb overage charge…. on a 250mb plan. Dude, odds are you did.

      Not saying AT&T is perfect though. Verizon isnt either.

      1. I too found that I could keep it under the 250 if I wanted to. I’ve rarely found I’ve played video over the network nor do I game online. Those are the things you have to keep away from if you want to keep from hitting big data use.

  5. They sure are right about the data usage but as far as automatic app updates…. if I want to update apps I have to go to the app store, click update and put in my password. Unless im missing something that allows it to do that automatically without need of password..

  6. Check your detailed billing data reports. ATT does charge you for lots of data transmission while you’re sleeping. My bill is loaded with small middle of the night transmissions and I have all push notifications turned off and keep my phone on Wifi.

    What I want to hear, is if any Verizon customers have checked their detailed data billing?

    I hope ATT pays me back for the two months my phone said my data was under my limit, but billing said it was over. Bastards!

    1. I saw something in the last thread on this that AT&T explained those connections, but i forget what they said about them.

      Course it would help if MDN posted the similar/related threads like they do on every other article… except this one…

  7. We need a class action lawsuit against all the phone carriers for charging exorbitant rates for text (SMS) messages that cost them almost nothing.

  8. I reset the “usage” on my phone each month at the beginning of my billing cycle. The data billed by AT&T is consistently more than that shown on the phone.

  9. In April of 2011 my usage was 64 mb. As was the average for me since i bought my Iphone a year and a half ago. In May it jumped to 1.3. I dont download videos, music, apps. I rarely recieve more than 100 emails a month all together. And all the time i had it in one month with doing nothing different it jumped to almost 2 GB and even went over in June. Explain this please. This is a problem on ATT ‘s part in tracking data transfers. All this was being sent out from my phone at night when I m asleep. No new apps. Had not updated the Apple software. No new habits. Only web surfing on the same sites I always do. No changes whatsoever had I made in any settings on my phone. So why the jump. ATT says call Apple that it is an Apple problem with the software. So I updated my IPhone and still have the same problem. ATT needs to account for this. If you research the issue large numbers of people are having the same problems.

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