OKLAHOMA CITY (CN) – A federal class action claims AT&T Mobility and Radio Shack defrauded customers by Radio Shack’s offering a netbook computer for $99.99 if customers bought a 2-year AT&T DataConnect Internet plan with it. Plaintiffs say the defendants hid charges that made “wireless Internet usage exceeding 5GB per month result in astronomical additional charges running into the thousands of dollars” – $5,078 in one month for the lead plaintiff.
Lead plaintiff Billie Parks says she bought the computer and 2-year service plan in December 2008. The AT&T DataConnect plan was supposed to cost $60 a month.
“Although the Customer Service Summary states ‘additional charges apply’ it was impossible for the average consumer or even one with considerable sophistication in such mattes to determine what those additions charges would be based upon the information contained in the Customer Service Summary and the Wireless Service Agreement,” the complaint states.
“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 consumer were informed, not could they have reasonably discerned from the paperwork that wireless internet usage exceeding 5GB per month would result in astronomical additional charges running into the thousands of dollars.
“In late January and early February 2009, plaintiff and other AT&T consumers whose wireless use exceeded 5GB per month received bills from AT&T for literally thousands of dollars in usage charges. In plaintiff’s case her usage charges for the billing cycle of 12/21/08 through 1/20/09 was $5,077.81.”
The class seeks rescission, an injunction and damages for fraud and consumer law violations. Plaintiffs are represented by David Thomas with Thomas & Terrell.