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

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Comments

  • Reply 41 of 89
    I have unlimited 3G plan (really unlimited), but i still get my usage dada from the carrier. Carrier data and data from my connection utility matches almost byte for byte every month. AT&T should think twice before saying how accurate they are.
  • Reply 42 of 89
    Count me in on this Class Action Suit.



    Just 2 weeks ago I was looking at my data usage on AT&T's site. They showed me using a couple of MBs of data at times I knew I was sitting at home on my wifi network.



    Talk about "phantom data". It really pissed me off, but it didn't push me over my 200MB limit, so I didn't make a big fuss about it.



    It does seem obvious to me that AT&T is doing some shady stuff to artificially inflate customer's data usage. Someone needs to sue them and hopefully win. Maybe that will make the carriers be honest for a change.



    And yeah. Don't get me started on ridiculous charges for text messaging. There is more to texting than just simple data, but the current texting plans are like 1000% profit. Customers don't like being gouged.
  • Reply 43 of 89
    These lawyers are not technical. What they are missing is the 'tax' or overhead of the TCP/IP Protocol which wraps about an additional 10% of data on top of the original request. When you are sending Voice over IP, that TCP/IP 'tax' (which is really using UDP/IP) is even worse because of the small packet sizes that are involved.



    So, if you transmit a 10MB file and you see it on your device, it actually consumed about 11MB in data network usage.
  • Reply 44 of 89
    al_bundyal_bundy Posts: 1,525member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post


    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.



    that's because the way business is done in the 21st century is offer a low price for a basic service and charge at 1000% profit for "value added services". everyone does it



    fast food is notorious. you pay .50 or so for go large which is a nickel's worth of sugar water and potatoes. the cheapest veggie there is.



    Acura/Lexus/Infiniti are just the regular toyota/honda/nissan cars with a different nameplate and a few upgrades. and a huge premium for the name. just like GM used to do



    my honda CR-V is just a Civic with big wheels and it looks like a station wagon. yet costs a lot more



    razor blades, printer ink, the way CPU's and GPU's are priced, the list is endless. since not everyone pays for the 1000% profit stuff the total profit margins even out to the average.
  • Reply 45 of 89
    al_bundyal_bundy Posts: 1,525member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by GQB View Post


    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.





    and wouldn't it be ironic if this mystery data is really apple sending back telemetry and other data back to their servers?



    i have an old 3G that i now use as an ipod. once in a while it pops up asking me to activate and i do get push notifications on it. it's probably going back to apple's activation/push servers for a periodic check. it's also known that apple keeps records of which apps are used and how often



    or if you have your email set up as IMAP and it checks every hour or so then that's your mystery data. the iphone is hitting google or whoever to check for new email
  • Reply 46 of 89
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by j1h15233 View Post


    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.



    How do they gouge on texts? Get the unlimited plan..it's only $30 a month..I can't believe users complain on everything...
  • Reply 47 of 89
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jdavy View Post


    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



    if you are not aware "unlimited" does not mean unlimited....read the small print. Verizon unlimited data is 5GB then they slow down the data like anyone else.
  • Reply 47 of 89
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by noexpectations View Post


    These lawyers are not technical. What they are missing is the 'tax' or overhead of the TCP/IP Protocol which wraps about an additional 10% of data on top of the original request. When you are sending Voice over IP, that TCP/IP 'tax' (which is really using UDP/IP) is even worse because of the small packet sizes that are involved.



    So, if you transmit a 10MB file and you see it on your device, it actually consumed about 11MB in data network usage.



    Well, there is a certain amount of overhead in packets, besides the payload, as well as for example, HTTP request and response headers, and possible requests to resend lost packets, so a 50KB page would certainly consume more than 50KB of data traffic. (And there's also the issue that someone pointed out of where they are measuring the data.) However, it seems that people are indicating that they are seeing data usage recorded when they aren't actually using the cellular data network. If that's actually the case, and the if is important, then AT&T would have some explaining to do: carrier or phone generated overhead not under control of the user ought not be billed.
  • Reply 49 of 89
    When the new plans came out I reviewed my previous data usage and never went over 200MB, not once in 6 months. So, I signed up for the $15 for 200MB plan and went over in both of the first 2 months. Something seemed a bit fishy with that. I use WiFi for almost everything.
  • Reply 50 of 89
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post


    Seriously E-Mail is just as easy on iPhone.



    A text message can be sent via e-mail. For example you can send one to a Att customer by addressing the email to area code and phone number @txt.att.net example [email protected].



    Taught that trick to my nephew as the little turd went through 400 text messages that his plan allows in less then 2 weeks. Man was my sister in law pissed.
  • Reply 51 of 89
    My 2c:



    It is obvious the numbers AT&T shows (and bills for) are different than that of the iPhone (or any device I would assume). I also understand that for you to download anything, there is more data than just the web page, its how the internet works, all that routing info, encryption info, handshakes, etc...



    What REALLY needs to happen, is for the devices without the need to download anything or visit anywhere, to ACCURATELY show the total amount of data in and out per connection type.



    What would be even better, would be for the device to have a cut-off limit built in that you can set. If it reaches a certain amount of data downloaded that you as a user specify, it will turn off the data services on the cell network completely until you reactivate it. I doubt that would EVER be introduced into any device, the telecoms would have a fit!



    In the mean time, check your data: *3282# and turn off your cell data (leaving only WiFi) if you are approaching your limit.
  • Reply 52 of 89
    eriamjheriamjh Posts: 1,134member
    I just checked my bill. I have several downloads at 12:34AM on different days from 10MB to as much a 79MB. I have never used my phone at 12:34AM on those dates. I'm in bed!



    79MB on an iPhone is a TON of data. At a measley 2MBps, which is a pretty fast 3G download rate in my area, that is 316 seconds or 5.2 minutes of constant downloading.



    Something is amiss with AT&Ts billing methods. Either the data is a lumped summary of accumulated use, it isn't real, or a combination of both. Some real sleuths could figure this out.
  • Reply 53 of 89
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by camroidv27 View Post


    My 2c:



    It is obvious the numbers AT&T shows (and bills for) are different than that of the iPhone (or any device I would assume). I also understand that for you to download anything, there is more data than just the web page, its how the internet works, all that routing info, encryption info, handshakes, etc...



    What REALLY needs to happen, is for the devices without the need to download anything or visit anywhere, to ACCURATELY show the total amount of data in and out per connection type.



    I suspect both numbers are "accurate". ATT is probably counting the bytes sent and received by the network, the phone is counting the bytes sent and received by the phone. While lawsuits are often unfortunate, they are also often effective at forcing better transparency.



    Someone earlier asked if we would be better off if ATT factored in overhead bytes and charged 10% more. The answer is definitely yes. The consumer generally thinks they are paying for data delivered to or by them. That's also the only thing that the phone can measure. It can't measure bytes lost to resends, etc, as it never sees them. So it's also the only thing the consumer can verify. ATT needs to match the consumer expectation and provide data counts that match what the consumer can verify. "Trust us we're counting right" is not a customer friendly response.



    Additionally, a lot of overhead is caused by network conditions. Lost packets are generally due to weak signals, overloaded networks etc. As a consumer, it seems perfectly reasonable to me that ATT should bear the cost of that overhead, not me. Network quality is under their control, not mine.



    If that means they need to readjust their rates/quotas, so be it.
  • Reply 54 of 89
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jragosta View Post


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



    Says AT&T for one thing. The data plan I have with them explicitly lists the data plan as "wireless internet services". Internet services means data passing out of AT&T's wireless network and onto the internet, which implies the amount of data passing between the GGSN and the internet.



    Adding phone-BTS data to your internet usage would be akin to double billing. If that's the case then AT&T definitely deserves to be sued for engaging in that shady practice.
  • Reply 55 of 89
    I wonder if AT&T is counting dropped packets. ie, their system sends out a packet, but the phone never gets it because of bad signal. That could explain the discrepancy, as the phone never knew the packets were sent. However, you shouldn't be billed in that case, as the data never arrived! Imagine if you were send 100 text messages, but only 10 got through to your phone. Should you be billed for all 100? Definitely not!
  • Reply 56 of 89
    cubertcubert Posts: 728member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jragosta View Post


    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.







    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?







    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.







    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?







    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?







    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.







    The full quote from MacRumors:



    "This was discovered by the same independent consulting firm, which purchased an iPhone from an AT&T store, immediately disabled all push notifications and location services, confirmed that no email account was configured on the phone, closed all applications, and let the phone sit untouched for 10 days. During this 10-day period, AT&T billed the test account for 35 data transactions totaling 2,292 KB of usage. This is like the rigged gas pump charging you when you never even pulled your car into the station."
  • Reply 57 of 89
    cubertcubert Posts: 728member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by zoetmb View Post


    Assuming he didn't use the web browser.



    The full quote from MacRumors:



    "This was discovered by the same independent consulting firm, which purchased an iPhone from an AT&T store, immediately disabled all push notifications and location services, confirmed that no email account was configured on the phone, closed all applications, and let the phone sit untouched for 10 days. During this 10-day period, AT&T billed the test account for 35 data transactions totaling 2,292 KB of usage. This is like the rigged gas pump charging you when you never even pulled your car into the station."
  • Reply 58 of 89
    My 72 year old father has an iPhone 3GS that he almost never uses. He doesn't get any calls and it's always connected to our home wifi network. Yet every month it says he uses about 2 MB of data. I'm not sure what this is from. He doesn't have any apps installed on it and doesn't know how to download any.
  • Reply 59 of 89
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by daylove22 View Post


    How do they gouge on texts? Get the unlimited plan..it's only $30 a month..I can't believe users complain on everything...



    Well my son sends 5000 text messages at lets say 50 bytes/characters. So that's 250,000 bytes for $30. That works out to $120 per megabyte compared with $0.75 per meg for their $15/200meg plan. Sounds like price gouging to me.
  • Reply 60 of 89
    al_bundyal_bundy Posts: 1,525member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Cubert View Post


    The full quote from MacRumors:



    "This was discovered by the same independent consulting firm, which purchased an iPhone from an AT&T store, immediately disabled all push notifications and location services, confirmed that no email account was configured on the phone, closed all applications, and let the phone sit untouched for 10 days. During this 10-day period, AT&T billed the test account for 35 data transactions totaling 2,292 KB of usage. This is like the rigged gas pump charging you when you never even pulled your car into the station."





    so how do you know iOS doesn't send out data for some other purpose?
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