All About AT&T Lawsuits:
What kind of AT&T Lawsuits are allowed?
SEE 8 RECENT AT&T LAWSUITS HERE
AT&T is a commonly-used phone and internet service provider, but they can also be the subject of many consumer complaints.
In fact, there have been many lawsuits and legal actions taken against AT&T in the past few years.
Here are some AT&T lawsuits to know about:
AT&T Lawsuit over Improper Fees: Californians want company’s “administrative fee” deemed illegal
AT&T Lawsuit about Selling Location Data: AT&T and other tech companies accused of selling customers’ data
AT&T Lawsuit over to Fax Spam: AT&T sent too many junk faxes to consumers
AT&T Lawsuit from Florida School District: AT&T overcharged for phone service
AT&T Lawsuit from Shareholders: AT&T accused of not properly informing customers of price hike
AT&T Lawsuit by the Electronic Frontier Foundation: AT&T charged with violating customer privacy in NSA wiretap allegations
AT&T Lawsuit for Past Overcharging & Bad Service: AT&T held responsible for past service problems and overcharging
AT&T Lawsuit by Sprint over 5G speed: AT&T sued by Sprint for falsely inflating their tech services
1 – Are lawsuits allowed against AT&T?
Like many legal questions, the answer is “it’s complicated.”
As with many other internet service providers, AT&T tries their best to ensure that their best interests are considered. Your AT&T subscriber agreement will often include language saying that you cannot sue them in most types of legal courts. However, consumers will always have the option to either take AT&T to a small claims court, or to file a consumer arbitration claim against them.
We’re biased, but consumer arbitration is often the better option. It’s also the one we can help with!
2 – What is a Class Action lawsuit? Can I file a Class Action lawsuit against AT&T?
Class Action lawsuits are designed to bring together a class of individuals with the same complaint. However, if you’re an AT&T customer, you often won’t have the option to file or join a class action.
Because of your AT&T contract, there will often be specific wording that prevents you from jumping into any Class Action that you find (this has not always been the case, and the story of why can be an interesting read).
The following AT&T lawsuits are usually lawsuits against AT&T filed by a government entity (which have more legal options than consumers), long-running older lawsuits, or corporate disputes involving AT&T.
At Radvocate, we’re reinventing the AT&T lawsuit process. AT&T complaints are common, and many consumers often have the same questions regarding their legal rights with the company. Rather than going after an AT&T Class Action suit — which is usually not even possible — we’ll file a personalized legal document with the company, and guide you through the legal process.
3 – As an AT&T customer, what are my options for a lawsuit?
There a bunch of ways to make a claim against AT&T, including with the FCC or your credit card provider.
But your legal options typically involve one of two paths:
You can Sue AT&T in Small Claims Court, and be asked to attend a court hearing and pay legal fees.
Or, you can do everything from your home. Consumer Arbitration is the process laid out by AT&T’s contract in place of a lawsuit. It lets you argue your case before an independent arbitrator (like a judge) who can force them to fix the problem and to compensate you. We at Radvocate help make this process easy and convenient. Find out how…
4 – Eight Recent and Notable AT&T lawsuits:
AT&T Lawsuit over Improper Fees
A pair of California customers are seeking class action lawsuit status for a claim over a sneaky “Administrative Fee” tacked on by AT&T:
As the complaint notes, "AT&T prominently advertises particular flat monthly rates for its post-paid wireless service plans." But after customers sign up, the telco "covertly increases the actual price" by tacking on the "bogus so-called 'Administrative Fee,'" according to the lawsuit filed Thursday in US District Court for the Northern District of California.
AT&T "hides" the fee in an easy-to-miss spot in customer bills, the complaint says, and it "misleadingly suggests that the Administrative Fee is akin to a tax or another standard government pass-through fee, when in fact it is simply a way for AT&T to advertise and promise lower rates than it actually charges."
AT&T Lawsuit about Selling Location Data
AT&T is just one of many tech companies charged in a massive lawsuit, as reported by Mashable:
The four major wireless telecommunication companies in the U.S. have just been hit with massive class action lawsuit.
The suit claims that AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, and T-Mobile all violated customers’ privacy by sharing their data to third party brokers. In turn, these brokers would then sell the data to bounty hunters, bail bondsmen, debt collectors, and middlemen.
The complaint alleges that the four biggest U.S. mobile carriers violated federal communications law by sharing phone numbers, geolocation data, and other account information. The class action covers approximately 300 million customers ranging from April 30, 2015 and February 15, 2019 spread out between the four companies.
AT&T Lawsuit over Fax Spam
It may seem obscure, but an accusation like that against AT&T for spamming fax machines can bring serious legal claims, as Top Class Actions reports:
AT&T faces a class action lawsuit seeking TCPA damages and claiming that the company sent unsolicited faxes.
According to lead plaintiff Vahe Messerlian, consumers who received these unsolicited faxes were forced to pay for the “junk faxes” due to a subscription that charged per fax. Because AT&T allegedly failed to give consumers the option to opt out of receiving these communications, they had no choice but to pay for the junk faxes, according to Law360.
Messerlian brings claims against AT&T under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). The TCPA is a federal law that aims to prevent harassing behaviors and communications through telephone calls, text messages, and fax communications.
AT&T Lawsuit from Florida School District
An Orange County, Florida school district recently sued AT&T for overcharging the students and school facilities for phone service, per WFTV9 ABC:
Last year, WFTV Eyewitness News reported the district was suing for fraud, after the Federal Communication Commission uncovered more than $1 million in alleged overbilling for phone service. AT&T wanted the case thrown out, arguing that even if everything OCPS said is true, it doesn't constitute fraud. A judge told the company, however, actually it does.
A transcript from inside that federal courtroom shows AT&T's lawyer argued, "all [OCPS] had to do was read the invoices that were charging them higher pricing."
After hearing from both sides, the judge ruled, saying in part, “Charging plaintiff a certain rate, and omitting information regarding [lower rates], constitutes the alleged fraudulent misrepresentation."
AT&T Lawsuit from Shareholders
According to Ars Technica, AT&T’s investors have discovered a lot of problems with the company lying about their DirecTV Now promotions in the past few months, and have since filed a class action suit:
AT&T lied to investors in order to hide the failure of its DirecTV Now streaming TV service, a proposed class action alleges.
AT&T told investors that DirecTV Now was succeeding even as its subscriber base fell due to price increases and the discontinuance of promotional discounts, said the complaint filed Monday in US District Court for the Southern District of New York. The complaint accuses AT&T and executives including CEO Randall Stephenson of violating the US Securities Act by "knowingly or recklessly" making false statements to investors and failing to disclose problems that were affecting DirecTV Now sales.
AT&T Lawsuit by the Electronic Frontier Foundation
Sometimes, a private nonprofit organization will be the one to stand up to big companies like AT&T. The EFF brings us this case:
In Hepting v. AT&T, EFF sued the telecommunications giant on behalf of its customers for violating privacy law by collaborating with the NSA in the massive, illegal program to wiretap and data-mine Americans’ communications.
Evidence in the case includes undisputed evidence provided by former AT&T telecommunications technician Mark Klein showing AT&T has routed copies of Internet traffic to a secret room in San Francisco controlled by the NSA.
AT&T Lawsuit for Past Overcharging & Bad Service
AT&T Wireless lawsuits have been occurring for almost as long as the company has been around in its current incarnation. This story from Public Justice outlines one such case:
A class action lawsuit charging that millions of cell phone users were misled and overcharged when Cingular merged with AT&T Wireless in 2004 may go forward, a federal court ruled on May 26.
Cingular bought AT&T’s cell phone system in October 2004, after assuring federal regulators that the merger would be “seamless.” But, the lawsuit contends, instead of providing the new and improved services it promised AT&T customers, Cingular immediately began dismantling and degrading the AT&T network, forcing AT&T customers to move to Cingular’s network. That meant buying new phone equipment, moving to higher cost plans, and, in some cases, an $18 “transfer” or “upgrade fee.” Some customers who tried to go to another company were hit with “early termination fees” of $175. Others who didn’t want to pay or couldn’t afford the termination fees were stuck with riding out their contract with AT&T Wireless while suffering poor to no reception – and paying an extra monthly fee of $4.99. Cingular ultimately shut down the former AT&T network. Cingular later changed its corporate name to AT&T.
AT&T Lawsuit by Sprint over 5G Speed
ZDNet reports on a recent case between AT&T and Sprint, in an alleged misleading 5G campaign:
Sprint has filed a lawsuit against AT&T over its 5G E advertising, calling it false and misleading by deceiving customers to believe that its 4G LTE Advanced network is actually 5G.
The complaint claims that AT&T is making itself seem more technologically advanced than its competitors, which is causing "irreparable harm" to Sprint.
"AT&T has employed numerous deceptive tactics to mislead consumers into believing that it currently offers a coveted and highly anticipated fifth generation wireless network, known as 5G," the complaint, filed in the United States District Court Southern District of New York, said.
"What AT&T touts as 5G, however, is nothing more than an enhanced fourth-generation Long-Term Evolution wireless service, known as 4G LTE Advanced, which is offered by all other major wireless carriers."