Billie Parks thought she was getting a deal, when she signed up for a $100 netbook computer from Radio Shack subsidized by committing to a two-year AT&T wireless data contract. What she didn't realize was that the price she would pay for data over the five gigabytes included in the plan.
When her first bill came, it included $5,000 in data overage charges which not only lead to shock but her filing a class action law suit in Oklahoma.
The Radio Shack promotion didn't mention the cap, but the paper work she must have signed and the AT&T website do show the charges with 0.00048/KB charges in the United States and
0.0195/KB abroad. AT&T 3G data users are notified of the limit via the AT&T "communication manager" for data cards. The fee amounts to over $500 a gigabyte.
The suit accuses AT&T Mobility and RadioShack of common law
fraud and violation of state consumer protection acts in connection
with allegedly false, misleading and inaccurate advertising of the
netbook DataConnect plan.
They want restitution of all of the
additional charges under the data plan; an end to the
RadioShack/AT&T Mobility DataConnect contracts; more damages
because of alleged harm to the plaintiffs credit; and an injunction
that keeps AT&T Mobility from enforcing the additional charges
provision of its data contracts, and other fees.
This is not the first astrononomical wireless broadband bill, a Chicago
Bears fan was charged $28,000 for use of his data card to watch to
watch a Bears game from a cruise ship in port.
Land broadband users are used to unlimited access, while most wireless
carriers(Verizon, AT&T, Sprint) cap broadband usage at 5 gigabytes.