Lawsuit accuses AT&T of overcharging iPhone, iPad customer data use

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Comments

  • Reply 21 of 89
    First, + 1 million to the guy who said they're gouging us on texts...because they are.



    Second, AT&T probably does bump up data a bit behind the scenes because my bill and my phone are off pretty far sometimes.



    Third, Apple could help us out with this if they would stop Safari from refreshing a page every time you open a link in a new window and then go back to the original page.
  • Reply 22 of 89
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by enjourni View Post


    Cool, thanks. I didn't know about the mywireless app



    No problem!
  • Reply 23 of 89
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,826member
    Really this is sad, many of you are acting out of total ignorance. There is the concept of "overhead" you need to read up on before flying off at the handle.



    Are AT&Ts accounting methods perfect? What ever is. However I'm certain that they are far more accurate than many here seem to suspect. When you sign up you are paying for raw bandwidth, which means all traffic over the link is summed up to get your total usage. In concept it is pretty simple really.



    I have to agree with another poster, after this is thrown out or otherwise resolved AT&T needs to go after these people big time. I mean everybody involved, the lawyers, the techs and the guy that generated this BS in the first place. This is the worst type of lawsuit as no body involved in bringing it to the courts bothered to educate themselves.
  • Reply 24 of 89
    eriamjheriamjh Posts: 1,134member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by j1h15233 View Post


    Third, Apple could help us out with this if they would stop Safari from refreshing a page every time you open a link in a new window and then go back to the original page.





    I read a page only reloads if it ran out of RAM to store it in the first place.



    I always wondered why hitting the back button doesn't just reload from RAM. Al ack of RAM would force a re-download.



    While browsing could be more efficient with data, that doesn't mean AT&T isn't "making up" data transfers in the middle of the night. Hell, Verizon was just overbilling customers and making up fees, why not fake data?



    I'm on the unlimited plan so I never cared.
  • Reply 25 of 89
    zoetmbzoetmb Posts: 2,453member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Cubert View Post


    "The independent consulting firm hired by Hendricks allegedly took a new iPhone, disabled all push notifications, location services, had no e-mail account configured, and closed all applications. Over 10 days, the phone allegedly used 2,292KB of AT&T's data plan."



    Wow! That's pretty damning evidence!



    Assuming he didn't use the web browser.
  • Reply 26 of 89
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,826member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by j1h15233 View Post


    First, + 1 million to the guy who said they're gouging us on texts...because they are.



    Seriously E-Mail is just as easy on iPhone.

    Quote:

    Second, AT&T probably does bump up data a bit behind the scenes because my bill and my phone are off pretty far sometimes.



    It is not impossible but I highly doubt it. It serves no useful purpose for AT&T to compromise their accounting systems as sound data is critical to planning.

    Quote:

    Third, Apple could help us out with this if they would stop Safari from refreshing a page every time you open a link in a new window and then go back to the original page.



    BINGO!!!!



    This is one of my biggest issues with my 3G. Far to much gets reloaded due to the limited RAM to keep page data in RAM. However while Apple should do all it can to minimize this the reality is significant improvement will only come from devices with more RAM.



    On something like iPad it is really sad to see these reloads. Not only does every reload cost you bytes in your account and time, but it leaves the iPad feeling sluggish. The bug question people should ask is why did Apple let the iPad remain on the shelf when it became obvious that iPhone 4 had more RAM. I mean really if you want to go after whatever is wasting your bandwidth then go after Apple and Safari.
  • Reply 27 of 89
    I've been dealing with this, too. I've done exactly what the testers did in the article long ago (shutting everything off, etc) and I still somehow either get alerts that I'm nearing my 200 MB data plan limit or I have gone over and I'm charged another $15. I hardly use my phone out of Wifi, so I downgraded from the Unlimited plan to 200 MB per month. After a few calls to AT&T and them not being able to tell me anything, I've just kind of given up and just pay the damn bill. I don't have the money for lawyers and all that legal mumbo jumbo, so I just don't use my phone now out of Wifi at all and keep all notification and location services shut off. Hope this can all be fixed.
  • Reply 28 of 89
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by al_bundy View Post


    and how are phones supposed to communicate with towers for things like dhcp renewal, and other management traffic?



    everyone always wanted the carriers to be dumb pipes and this is it. you pay for all the raw data you consume



    I suggest you go learn how mobile phones work before making comments about DHCP renewal, etc. since it makes it painfully clear that you know nothing about how data communications with mobile phones works. When your phone is connected to a cellular network, as opposed to a wifi network, it is not communicating via ethernet, so DHCP is not involved in any way.



    Your mobile phone connects over the air to a BTS (base transceiver station), or what most people simply call a cell tower. Multiple BTS's are connected to a single BSC (base station controller). It's the BSC that typically does the handing off of a call from one tower to the other as your phone moves from one area to another. A serving support node (SGSN) is typically attached to the BSC, which manages packet data. The SGSN also connects to a gateway support node (GGSN) which is the gateway to "the internet". The combination of the SGSN & GGSN manage the assignments of IP addresses to a mobile phones internet session. The GGSN typically works as a huge NAT gateway, allowing multiple mobile phones to share the same physical IP address on the internet.



    So in a nutshell, when you use the internet on your mobile phone over the cellular network the path is something like this:



    phone -> BTS -> BSC -> SGSN -> GGSN -> internet -> destination



    The BSC also connects to a MSC (mobile switching center) which handles the voice side of calls.



    From what this all sounds like, AT&T may be charging you for data transferred between your phone and the BSC and/or SGSN (or even the MSC). What they SHOULD be charging you for is only the amount of data you actually cause to flow through the GGSN/internet gateway. Any data that is sent/received through any of the other components is required for your mobile phone to work whether or not you use the internet at all. That should be covered by your regular service contract and not count as extra data.



    Here are a few links that cover all this in a bit more detail:



    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GSM



    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Network...hing_Subsystem
  • Reply 29 of 89
    How much did it cost this guy to hire an analyst to do an investigation on a phone bill?



    How did he get the money, if he couldn't afford a regular $25/mo unlimited data?



    Someone or rather some people, is looking for a windfall paycheck. I hope AT&T fights them till the end.
  • Reply 30 of 89
    Att iPhone users are notorious data hogs so I can imagine att taking advantage and sliding in some extra charges wherever they can. I think it is mess up and a shady but really doesn't affect me on unlimited, if this guy ends up winning I'm sure heads will roll.
  • Reply 31 of 89
    jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by shadash View Post


    Do you work for AT&T? Or to put it another way, have you seen Dwight on the Office? I think you two were separated at birth.



    Look up 'ad hominem attack'. Since you're unable to intelligently discuss the issue, you just attack the person.



    And, no I don't work for AT&T or any telecom. I don't work in anything even remotely related. It's just that I'm smart enough to see through stupid law suits.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by xsu View Post


    If packets are lost on the way, how can that be counted as consumed by the phone? If someone was sending you a package, and it was lost on the way, how does that count as you having received it?



    I didn't mention lost packets. What happens if the packet is sent and comes through corrupted - and has to be resent? And what about TCP overhead?



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Cubert View Post


    "The independent consulting firm hired by Hendricks allegedly took a new iPhone, disabled all push notifications, location services, had no e-mail account configured, and closed all applications. Over 10 days, the phone allegedly used 2,292KB of AT&T's data plan."



    Wow! That's pretty damning evidence!



    Hardly. Unless it is verified, no one knows whether it was done properly. Did they use the web browser? Was some of that data used during their messing around to turn everything off?



    I'm unwilling to believe something like that with no protocols provided.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by aaarrrgggh View Post


    If the telcos were truly dumb pipes, I would agree a little. Network overhead is not device usage though, and should not be charged as such.



    Says who?



    Do you think it costs any less to transmit a protocol packet than to transmit a data packet?



    Of course, the telcos could charge only for the data packets, but charge 10% more to allow for overhead. Would you be any better off?



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by aaarrrgggh View Post


    I personally think AT&T needs to ratchet up the caps every few months. The low usage plans are a joke, and become moreso as time passes. The bottom rung should be at least 300MB now. If you don't make it cost-effective then people will move data back to wifi, cutting out the carriers.



    Why should they arbitrarily change the caps every few months? What kind of bizarre logic makes you arrive at that conclusion? That's just foolish. By that token, GM should be required to add more options to their cars every few months without charging more. Of General Foods should put more cereal in the box every few months without charging more. Or your Cable TV provider should be required to give you a few extra days every month.



    As for the minimum, they can set the minimum wherever they want. If you don't like it, choose another carrier or pay more for the higher limits. Lots of people get by under the current 250 MB minimum. I do most months and my daughter always does. Why should I pay more just because YOU think the minimum should be higher?



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Iphtashu Fitz View Post


    I suggest you go learn how mobile phones work before making comments about DHCP renewal, etc. since it makes it painfully clear that you know nothing about how data communications with mobile phones works. When your phone is connected to a cellular network, as opposed to a wifi network, it is not communicating via ethernet, so DHCP is not involved in any way.



    Your mobile phone connects over the air to a BTS (base transceiver station), or what most people simply call a cell tower. Multiple BTS's are connected to a single BSC (base station controller). It's the BSC that typically does the handing off of a call from one tower to the other as your phone moves from one area to another. A serving support node (SGSN) is typically attached to the BSC, which manages packet data. The SGSN also connects to a gateway support node (GGSN) which is the gateway to "the internet". The combination of the SGSN & GGSN manage the assignments of IP addresses to a mobile phones internet session. The GGSN typically works as a huge NAT gateway, allowing multiple mobile phones to share the same physical IP address on the internet.



    So in a nutshell, when you use the internet on your mobile phone over the cellular network the path is something like this:



    phone -> BTS -> BSC -> SGSN -> GGSN -> internet -> destination



    The BSC also connects to a MSC (mobile switching center) which handles the voice side of calls.



    From what this all sounds like, AT&T may be charging you for data transferred between your phone and the BSC and/or SGSN (or even the MSC). What they SHOULD be charging you for is only the amount of data you actually cause to flow through the GGSN/internet gateway. Any data that is sent/received through any of the other components is required for your mobile phone to work whether or not you use the internet at all. That should be covered by your regular service contract and not count as extra data.



    Says who? Who are you to say that the 'correct' thing to charge for is GGSN - Internet data and not phone-BTS data?



    And even if AT&T did that, it wouldn't save you any money. If the overhead is 10%, they'd just add 10% to the data rates- so you wouldn't come out ahead at all.
  • Reply 32 of 89
    gqbgqb Posts: 1,934member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jragosta View Post


    Once again, attorneys who have no clue how technology works stirring up trouble....





    If you download a 50 kb web site, there's no reason to think that you'll be billed for exactly 50 kb. .



    Um, yeah, actually consumers have EVERY right to have accurate information regarding what they're being charged for. To think that AT&T (and every other carrier) isn't intentionally using a 'rounding up' scam is naive.

    First its 'unlimited' that isn't really unlimited, and now its scams to push users over the thresholds.

    I watch my daughter's 200 MB carefully (as does she) and its amazing how hard they make it to know exactly how much you're using.

    This is one case I'd like to see have legs. The carriers HAVE to be forced to provide easy-to-use and accurate tools for monitoring data use.
  • Reply 33 of 89
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Cory Bauer View Post


    Likewise. A much as a hate frivolous lawsuits (the guy's only out $15), apparently this is what its going to take to get some straight answers from AT&T.



    My sentiments exactly. Does anyone on these message boards really trust anything ATT execs say? I dont trust Verizon, Walmart, Target, Dell, HP, MS, Google, Sony, the movie/TV/cable/music industry or financial industry. I do however have a lot of trust in Apple and Jobs. Yes, I pay a pretty penny for Apple products but I have never been dissapointed in them in the last 20 years! That's saying a lot! And I can't say the same for the companies above. Perhaps Honda and Toyota, I trust also.



    Best
  • Reply 34 of 89
    cubertcubert Posts: 728member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by zoetmb View Post


    Assuming he didn't use the web browser.



    It sounds like he just turned on the phone and left it sitting there.
  • Reply 35 of 89
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by wtbard View Post


    Why can't someone file a class action suit on price gouging SMS text messages?



    I've always wondered this too. Lawsuits abound over tiny picayune details that may or may not be correct like this one, yet blatant scams like text messaging prices are "okay?" It's clear that a text message costs the carriers less than a hundredth of what they charge you yet no one seems to care. It's clear that the carriers also all illegally collude on pricing too but nothing is done about that and no one seems to care.



    What I find most astounding of all is this recent notion that even though I'm paying carrier X for a 6GB data plan, that if I tether an iPad instead of a laptop, I have to pay more money for more data even though I have a contract which says I have 6GB of data and tethering is already "free." All this kind of stuff used to be illegal. In the 1970's for instance (not that long ago), half the things done today would result in a court case for false advertising or deception of one kind or another. It also used to be true that a contract is a contract and couldn't be changed without the mutual agreement of both parties, but that doesn't seem to apply anymore.



    I guess people have just gotten used to being raped or something.
  • Reply 36 of 89
    I'm no rocket surgeon but it seems like overhead should be calculated into the telco's business plan and not on my bill.
  • Reply 37 of 89
    eriamjheriamjh Posts: 1,134member
    If someone told me AT&T was creating data use for iPhone users so they'd pay more, I'd believe it in a second. Based on posts about phantom data in Apple's forums going back to last summer, I'd say this lawsuit is valid.
  • Reply 38 of 89
    This story doesn't surprise me. Hopefully somebody can actually prove it. Its going to be tough, but it is doable. Its going to cost money to prove, hopefully the person behind the lawsuit has the bucks and the lawyer he's using is tech saavy and resourceful.
  • Reply 39 of 89
    Go for it with this law suit then maybe we can finally get an answer to what is is they are downloading in the middle of the night. I have 100+ Mb download around 3am in the morning and nobody can tell me what it is. The funny thing is that it is downloaded via 3g, when the phone is on my nightstand connected to my wireless network When I asked AT&T about it, they only said that they could just tell me the amount of data not what is was, luckily I'm on the old unlimited plan.
  • Reply 40 of 89
    I have unlimited data and thus have not been affected. However, my wife had the 2GB plan. She would notice her data usage going up even though her iPhone was off. She worked one of those techniques to get unlimited data back and it worked but then when she hit 5GB of data usage AT&T cut her speed to edge. She is now going to get the Verizon iPhone. I hope AT&T gets punished for their poor tactics in slowing down data use. The real solution for AT&T and all other phone providers is to increase the capacity on their lines. Limits on data usage for a smart phone makes the smart phone a dumb phone. IMHO
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