AT&T Rings Up Bills Unfairly, Class Claims

     SAN FRANCISCO (CN) – AT&T charges “exorbitant” international roaming fees for calls that people do not even answer, customers claim in a federal class action. The class claims also that AT&T structures its bills so that customers are unable to tell which charges are for unanswered calls.

     Lead plaintiff Kenneth Thelian says he was charged $12.90 in roaming fees while traveling in Belgium, though he did not place or answer any calls.
     Thelian says AT&T also charged him $15.81 in Canada and $92.72 in Mexico for calls he did not answer.
     Thelian says AT&T reversed $8 of the Belgium charges when he called to complain, but “did not adequately explain why these charges were incurred.”
Suing for the class, he claims that AT&T does not tell customers how to avoid such charges while traveling abroad, and structures bills so that customers are unable to discern which charges are for calls they did not answer.
     In 2009, AT&T changed its service agreement to inform customers that they would be charged international roaming fees anytime calls are routed to voicemail, but “did not inform customers that they may be charged double for the calls. Nor does it inform customers that such charges may be imposed even if their phone is off or in flight mode,” the complaint states.
The complaint cites several other grievances from AT&T customers, one of whom was charged $150 for voicemails received while on vacation in the Caribbean, though the customer claims that AT&T assured him that roaming fees would not be charged.
The class demands compensatory and punitive damages for fraud and actual damages of at least $50 for false advertising. It is represented by Adam Gutride with Gutride Safier.

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