Looking to sue AT&T Wireless? Small claims court is an option, and you may have others…
At FairShake we’ve helped thousands of people with claims against AT&T Wireless and other big companies that ripped them off get over $8 million in settlement offers… [continued below]
But some people say it’s hard to get a refund from AT&T Wireless. And while you might think you have the right to a class action lawsuit against AT&T Wireless, it’s actually more complicated.
A lot of companies like AT&T Wireless add what’s called an arbitration clause to their contracts. It gives them the right to force legal claims out of state or federal courts. But you still have rights to sue under your AT&T Wireless contract.
Here’s what you can do…
The first way to sue AT&T Wireless is through consumer arbitration. If your contract has an arbitration clause it gives you the right take legal action against AT&T Wireless through an officially-designated, independent dispute process that’s not a court and won’t require showing up in person. This can be a better option for a lot of regular people.
The second way to sue AT&T Wireless, if you want to avoid the arbitration system, is to use Small Claims Court. While their contract may keep lawsuits out of state and federal courts, they can’t stop you from pursuing the small claims process. If you’re ready to sue AT&T Wireless on your own, read on below:
Ready to sue AT&T Wireless in small claims court? Small claims courts are only for certain types of claims, so your first step is to make sure your claim can be filed. There are two things you need to pay attention to:
If your claim doesn’t fall within the limits of your state’s small claims court, you’ll have to arbitrate your claim instead.
Most small claims courts require that you ask the person you’re suing (the “defendant”) to fix your problem voluntarily before you file your claim. So if you want to sue AT&T Wireless in small claims court, you need to send them a demand letter first.
Your demand letter can be simple and straightforward – tell AT&T Wireless who you are (your name, address, phone number and account number), what the problem is, and what you want from them. Don’t worry about making it a lengthy letter, or too complicated.
When you’re done writing, you need to mail a hard copy of the letter, preferably as certified mail or some other service that allows you to confirm delivery, to:
Legal Department – Notice of Dispute
208 S. Akard
Dallas, Texas 75202
If you would like examples of demand letters or more information about how to write them, you can find an excellent guide here.
(This address is taken from the subscriber agreement here.)
In order to sue AT&T Wireless in small claims court, you’re going to need to fill out some paper work.
Each state has a set of forms that need to be filled out to file a claim, and sometimes counties will provide additional forms. The correct forms for your location will be available for free on your state court’s website. Find your state court website here.
Make sure you fill out enough forms. For the next step you will likely need 3 or 4 copies. If you don’t have the right number, they will not accept your claim.
When you’re done filling out the court forms, it’s time to give those forms to the court. This process, called “filing” can be a bit tricky.
Many courts will require you to physically come to the courthouse during specific hours and days to hand-deliver the forms to the court’s clerk. Other courts may allow you to file by mail, fax or (for a few courts) online.
All courts will require you to pay a filing fee before they allow your to sue AT&T Wireless in small claims. This fee, which will be published on your court’s website, can sometimes be waved if you are a low income plaintiff.
When you file your forms, the court clerk will provide you with a stamped copy of the forms and a court date. Keep it safe and bring it with you on the day of your hearing.
If you’ve made it this far – good work! Suing AT&T Wireless in small claims is a long and tough process.
Now that you’ve filed the papers required to start your case against AT&T Wireless, you need to tell AT&T Wireless that it’s been sued. This is a called “serving” AT&T Wireless. To do this, you need to deliver a copy of your filed papers to AT&T Wireless.
Look at your court’s website for instructions on how to properly deliver your forms to AT&T Wireless, or search for “[your state] small claims service of process”. Don’t neglect a single rule or your case can be thrown out.
When the court clerk gives you a court date (after you file your forms), put the date on your calendar. It is a very important date.
Make sure you know which courthouse to go to, and you arrive on time. Bring with you your copy of your filed forms, and any other evidence that shows why you decided to sue AT&T Wireless.
Sometimes, AT&T Wireless will not show up to oppose you. If that happens, take advantage of the situation to focus on your side of the story. The judge will likely render a decision the same day, but for more complicated cases it can take multiple days or weeks.