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Is AT&T Over Charging You?

AT&T Bill

Researchers found that even when all data was disabled, AT&T reported data usage on the user’s bill

Nearly 20 million Americans have data service for their iPhones or iPads through AT&T. Unfortunately, because of that, they are likely being charged for data they are not even using.  Independent researchers claim that AT&T routinely overstates data usage by 7-14%, and in some cases up to 300% on users iPhone and iPad data plans. That would mean that if an iPhone user downloads a 50KB website, AT&T’s bill would overstate the traffic as 53.5KB (a 7% overcharge) to as much as 150KB (a 300% overcharge).

According to the researchers, they tested this theory with a brand-new iPhone/iPad device by immediately disabling all applications, email, and other push notification and location data services. For 10 days, all configurations that could possibly trigger data to be transmitted or received remained disabled.  Nevertheless, AT&T reportedly logged 2,292KB of data usage—35 transactions that never happened or were never initiated by the user.

This is deeply troubling.  Many users subscribe to unlimited data plans in belief that they are using large amounts of data that would justify paying the correspondingly higher fees, though in reality, they are not.  By over-reporting data usage, AT&T is likely ensuring that its customers will be paying higher rates for data plans they don’t actually need.

If you have an unlimited data plan through AT&T, you may have been subjected to these same practices.  If you would like to do something about it, submit a complaint to Scambook, AT&T, your state’s attorney general, the Better Business Bureau, and/or the Federal Trade Commission.

-Scambook Team

 

See Also

Scambook Success Story: Nevada Woman Fights Back Against Cell Phone Fraud
Best Cell Phone Customer Service: Verizon, AT&T, Sprint or T-Mobile? 
Which Cell Phone Carrier is Right for You?

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Comments

  1. Kate

    ATT has routinely overcharged me for data, minutes – you name it! They even continued to charge me for a phone that I reported was stolen and being used unauthorized. There is at least a 45 min phone call to them each month, and then they reduce it. Now this month, there are 3rd party charges for some opinion poll texts that i had recieved (never signed up for tho) whereas I followed the instructions to “STOP” at&t ARE THE ORIGINAL ROBBER BARONS OF TELECOMM

    Reply
  2. sonja

    I HAVE HAD AT&T FOR OVER 15 YEARS OR MORE, THEY HAVE BEEN THE BEST TO ME EVER, BUT JUST FOUR YEARS AGO I HAD MY TWO SONS ADDED TO MY ACCOUNT ALWAYS GOOD AT ONLY $ 126.00 A MONTH FOR ALL THREE OF US, TWO YEARS LATER WITH ALL THESE NEWER HIGH TECH PHONES AND SUCH NOW JUST WITH ONE SON AND MYSELF WE HAVE HAD TO UP GRADE TO A NEWER PHONE BUT ALL ALONG WE BOTH USE ONLY TEXT AND TALK HAD TO USE MAP TO GET AROUND ONCE BUT ALL SEEMS THAT EACH MONTH ITS EITHER VERY HIGH OR A LOT LOWER WHY CAN THEY NOT JUST SELL A GOOD HIGH QUALITY PHONE THAT RINGS ,AND YOU ONLY PAY FOR WHAT YOU WANT WITHOUT HAVING ALL THE OTHER APPS IN THE PHONE I DON’T LIKE THEM OR NEED THEM TIRED OF THE BILL SO HIGH I TRULY DON’T BELIEVE WE ARE USING ANYTHING NEAR WHAT WE PAY FOR WHEN I GO INTO TALK ABOUT IT THEY SAY I AM ONLY CHARGED FOR TALK AND TEXT WHY SO MUCH LETS GET SOMETHING STRAIGHTENED OUT I AM THIS WEEK.

    Reply
  3. J.Sierra

    I gave up my unlimited data plan to save $15/month, but now I keep getting stiffed by AT&T for data I’m not using. I rarely go over 10 MB per day, and I watch my daily usage very closely. However, 3 times now, when I’m at home – on a wifi network which is always on, I’ve been hit with over 100 MB at night – when I’m asleep! The reps at AT&T all claim my wifi must have been disabled while I must have been downloading a lot of content. They will make up any excuse so they don’t have to admit they’re f’ing with me! Fortunately, I can be just as stubborn and convince them to give me a credit each month.

    Reply
  4. Diane

    I also have at@t and they are robbing me too..And im really screwed cause i just got my plan and now im stuck with them for 2 years.

    Reply
  5. Gloreen

    contact your telecommunications ombudsman and let them know what is happening to you.

    If you live in australia this is what we do.
    Also the Iphone scam on FB I want people to be aware of!! Dont do it. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! its a scam and they take your money as well. the company ‘s name is mano solutions. To rid them I had to ring my phone company to get the name of the company and the customer phone assistance to get rid of them . there phone number is 1300882518. Good luck to every one

    Reply
  6. Pandian

    I am with 200 MB plan from ATT and I always make sure that I turn off the dataplan when I don’t use it (Most ussage for me is on wifi). But just before monthly billing date aproches, somehow 300 – 400 MB was sent\received even in one short when the cellular data setting is off on my iphone. This magic happened muplitple times. First couple of time I wasn’t not sure but last month it happened again, so this time I decided to fight.

    Reply
  7. J

    AT&T charges me 230$ a month for 4 lines of iPhone=15$ a month/per iPhone. I dont have other plans and I never overuse the data they keep changing the price higher and higher. I called in once and they said oh the computer said you overused the minutes and I was like wtf. I have the mobile to mobile which means I can call any cellphone I want for free. They are a ripe off. Customer service sucks

    Reply
  8. Ren

    I have an IPhone 3GS through my employer, with unlimited data plan! It was time for my line to be upgraded in January of 2012! I upgraded to a 4gs and wanted to keep my unlimited plan! Well I was told that I could not keep that plan because it was no longer offered by AT&T! So the sales person said she thinks I should go with a certain plan due to my data activity! Being a trusting consumer and not suspecting of being Misled I signed up for that plan!! My employer called me in and asked me why my line was incredibly more money than the past 5 years( since the IPhone original) I explained that I was told that I needed to get a new plan and we could not stay on our unlimited plan! 2months went by and I had to have another meeting with my boss! I restricted my phone privilege to only work only (seeing as that’s how we communicate) the data grew and grew and grew because we didnt even contact AT&T because we trust them and there services( it’s not like we are buying a USED CAR from them or having our car worked on)I also recirved a formal write up for abuseing company phone privileges! My boss called AT&T and they set him up on text to alert us about overages! The next billing period data has grew and grew! My boss asked if I had been abusive our phone privlidges because he was receiving overage texts at all hours of the night! I said no I have not so he contacted AT&T and explained what our situation was! They apologized and credited our acct! 300.00 off a bill that was around 1400.00 for 5 phones and 1pf those is a old school phone with no data! Keep in mind we were only paying a maximum of 375- 415 a month before January 2012!! So I was on thin ice at work and trying to keep track of my usage! The next pay period was due and all month we were getting overage texts and I reset my data counter on my phone to keep track! Now the bill was around 1600.00 and my data on the bill didnt match up with data that I track from my phones usage! We called AT&T and I was pretty upset when I heard that my phone and there billing was not precise and there was no way to keep tabs on what data we used because it was not accurate!! They said that they send us texts to tell us about usage warnings and overages but that that information was anywhere from 24-48 hrs timeframe! It was not real time repairing!!(there is a reason they do that) so now I’m being reviewed by the owner of the company I work for and could possibly be terminated for my job! My cousin that works for apple told me that a third party company calculates the data usage for apple and AT&T! There is nobody regulating them or AT&T or apple! Also the update 6.0 was a glitch that sometimes doubled data rates on 3GS and up iPhones! That’s why the 6.1 upgrade came a little over a month after and apple was jamming those phones that did not update so those users were forced to update and AT&T and apple can get everyone on the same system flow!!! I found this out because I have family on the inside of apple( Mac genius) the average customer was more than likely over billed and they unknowingly forked over the high payment because like myself and everyone else we just assume we can trust apple or AT&T And apple because why would they rip us off! Well they need to be held accountable for there unfair business practices and violating or rights as consumers!! My boss put in another request for a credit due to conflicting data reports and abnormal data charges again a bill for over 1200.00! He was granted another 300 dollar credit! Answer me this if I was AT&T and I was running a fair business and I knew that I was not ripping anybody off, would I just hand out 300 dollar credits to just anybody multiple times because there bill was to high?? NO NO NO NO NO!!!!!! They do that so people will feel that it’s AT&T’s mistake and they can continue to rip us off!! Think about it 300.00 of of a 1400.00-1800.00 dollar business still puts payment at 1100.00-1500.00! Remember or bill at its highest before January 2012 was 490 dollars( that’s four smartphone lines and one flip phone)! He was givin this credit twice!! Why was it a 300.00 credit from them both times…..because by policy that is the maximum that AT&T resolution dept or any of AT&T employees are allotted to grant any customer for any reason for any billing period!! I wonder just how many company’s or individual consumers have just thought that they were being treated fairly because of some 300.00 credit and went about there say like they had accomplished a task to right there over charged cell bill?? I read an article that they were to grandfather in the accts with unlimited data and let them keep the unlimited plan! But I heard from more than a dozen people just like me they were not given that option and were put on the 5GB plan! Plus it’s free on wi-fi which is a way for AT&T Uverse to cash in on new acct contracts for people that have theses rediculas overages!!

    Reply
  9. nikhil

    I have hardly used 170 MB data and they charged me for 500 MB data…..I cant do anything…have nowhere to go!!!!

    Reply

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