AT&T, RadioShack face class action suit over netbook data plan

Operators continue to grapple with pushing access plans while imposing data caps on those plans, especially as they look to bundle netbooks and data plans. Now the issue has come to a head with a class action lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Oklahoma.

Billie Parks filed suit on behalf of herself and others against AT&T Mobility and RadioShack after she purchased a $100 netbook at a RadioShack bundled with a two-year data contract from AT&T. Her first bill was more than $5,000.

"Although the customer service summary informed plaintiff and other consumers that their first bill might be higher than expected because of a $36 activation fee, one month's service billed in advance, and prorated charges and fees for the month when the customer signed up, neither plaintiff nor other consumers were informed, nor could they have reasonable discerned from the paper work that wireless Internet usage exceeding 5GB per month would result in astronomical charges running into the thousands of dollars," the lawsuit stated. 

The lawsuit accuses AT&T Mobility and RadioShack of common law fraud and violation of state consumer protection acts in connection with allegedly false, misleading and inaccurate advertising of the netbook DataConnect plan. The suit seeks restitution of all of the additional charges under the data plan; an end to the RadioShack/AT&T Mobility DataConnect contracts; more damages because of alleged harm to the plaintiffs credit; and an injunction that keeps AT&T Mobility from enforcing the additional charges provision of its data contracts, and other fees.

For more:
- see RCR Wireless

Related articles:
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2008 Year in Review: Netbooks and 3G dongles drive mobile broadband
Sales of netbooks set to rise in 2009
ABI: Ultra-mobile device shipments to exceed 200M by 2013
Vodafone Hungary implements 'soft caps' on mobile data usage
Mobile data: Can carriers ride the wave?

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