AT&T has silently bilked consumers out of hundreds of thousands of dollars with a phony "administrative charge" since 2013, a cost that it more than quadrupled in 2018 to $1.99 per month. A California class-action lawsuit gave the impression for many years that AT&T could eventually be held accountable. However, this Monday, both parties informed the court that they would settle for $14 million, meaning that consumers may receive less than 10 percent of what they paid AT&T, but AT&T will continue to charge them.
As per the proposed settlement in Vianu v. AT&T Mobility, which still has to be authorized by a court, almost every AT&T Wireless postpaid subscriber in California since 2015 will be entitled to a payout of between $15 and $29, on average.
How Much Did AT&T Charge?
According to the company's data, documents indicate that AT&T has charged an average of $180 per subscriber since 2015. According to the documents, the settlement "represents a reimbursement of about 6 to 11 months of typical expenses." Meanwhile, the attorneys will likely get $3.5 million.
The proposed settlement agreement states, "The approximate payment amount represents a great outcome for the Settlement Class, especially given the substantial threats, expenses, and postponement of continued litigation," before listing how the attorneys suing AT&T believe AT&T could still win the case.
There is no doubt that the fees are fraudulent if you were wondering: Before this, Judge Laurel Beeler prevented AT&T from dismissing the lawsuit because the business "misleadingly and unjustly misrepresented [the administrative charge] as a pass-through expense." Thus, AT&T cannot claim that it is just passing along an unforeseen expenditure to its consumers; the provider benefits from this! However, the plaintiffs' legal team will not seek a victory.
How Consumers Will Receive Their Settlement
Oh, and if this version of the settlement is accepted, if you're still an AT&T subscriber, you won't even get a check in the mail. The funds will be refunded back to your AT&T account, from which AT&T may withdraw the $1.99 — or more if it feels empowered to hike the cost once again — at any time.
Featured image: AT&T
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