Matt Brunk
Matt Brunk has worked in past roles as director of IT for a multisite health care firm; president of Telecomworx,...
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Matt Brunk | May 31, 2011 |


iPhone Users: No Mercy For Phantom Data Usage

iPhone Users: No Mercy For Phantom Data Usage Businesses, there's the warning--you are using consumer devices. Not only are iPhones consumer products, their service life is short.

Businesses, there's the warning--you are using consumer devices. Not only are iPhones consumer products, their service life is short.

AT&T argues that there is a misunderstanding on how users consume data and are billed for it after responding to another lawsuit brought against the carrier. Thornton, Davis & Fein, a law firm of Miami, FL paid independent researchers $80,000 to test the iPhone data usage and found that AT&T overcharged iPhone and iPad users between 7% and 300% for data usage. This is the second lawsuit, with a prior suit brought earlier in January that went to the Supreme Court in April that ruled 5-4 in AT&T's favor that companies can block unhappy customers (consumers and businesses) from banding together in a class-action lawsuit.

User blogs including Apple's have scores of customer complaints and numerous attempts by users to limit their data usage. The canned response from AT&T to my FCC complaint yielded nothing substantial because AT&T doesn't disclose their billing practices and the FCC won't disclose the complaints filed or information related to the issue. Apple says to their customers, "call AT&T."

My opinion is the same since jumping into this mess: That Apple, AT&T and the FCC have a perfect out--each guy points to the other guy and nothing gets resolved. Apple is tight lipped to reveal anything or any potential wrongdoing just like their "software changes" concerning user privacy uncovered by the WSJ.

In "U.S. Senators Kohl and Klobuchar: Press AT&T for more clear and accurate billing practices," a report from “U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar and Herb Kohl pressed AT&T for more transparent billing practices after consumers alleged that the company has engaged in systematic over billing related to data usage. Klobuchar and Kohl wrote to AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson and said that the consumers' claims underscored the need for a competitive wireless market and urged the company to provide specific answers on how it accurately charges customers for data. In the letter the Senators wrote, "Particularly troubling is the accusation that all of the alleged billing errors were made in favor of AT&T and at the consumers' expense." The letter continued, "[It is] critical that billing for data usage be transparent, clear, and accurate."


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