Recent and notable lawsuits against AT&T

All About AT&T Lawsuits

Learn what AT&T lawsuits are out there, and how to take action…

To learn about AT&T’s November 5, 2019 settlement with the Federal Trade Commission over data throttling, read our article here.

AT&T is one of the biggest phone and internet service providers. They’re also one of the biggest targets of consumer complaints.

In this article, we pull together many lawsuits and legal actions taken against AT&T over the past few years.

You can Start a Claim against AT&T now


Are lawsuits allowed against AT&T?

As with many other internet service providers, AT&T tries to ensure the subscriber agreement includes legal language that prevents most types of lawsuits.  However, consumers can take AT&T to a small claims court, or to file a consumer arbitration claim against them.

Binding consumer arbitration is often the better option. Let us represent you during a binding arbitration hearing with AT&T!


What is a Class Action Lawsuit? 

Class action lawsuits are designed to bring together a class of individuals with the same complaint. However, if you’re an AT&T customer, you won’t have the option to file or join a class action.

Because of your AT&T contract, there will be specific language that prevents you from participating in a class action lawsuit (this has not always been the case, and the story of why can be an interesting read).

The AT&T lawsuits listed on this page are lawsuits against AT&T filed by a government agency, long-running older lawsuits, or corporate disputes involving AT&T.

At FairShake, we have reinvented the lawsuit process. AT&T complaints are common, and many consumers often have the same questions regarding their legal rights with the company. Rather than going after an AT&T by participating in a class action lawsuit, we file a personalized legal document with the company, and then guide you through the legal process.

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As an AT&T customer, what are my options for a lawsuit?

There are several ways to file a claim against AT&T, but your legal options typically involve one of two paths:

  • You can sue AT&T in small claims court

  • Consumer arbitration is the process laid out by AT&T’s contract in place of a lawsuit. It lets you argue your case before an independent arbitrator (like a judge) who can force them to fix the problem and to compensate you. FairShake helps make this process easy and convenient.

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Eight Recent and Notable AT&T Lawsuits

AT&T Lawsuit over Improper Fees

A pair of California customers are seeking class action lawsuit status for a claim over a sneaky “Administrative Fee” tacked on by AT&T:

As the complaint notes, “AT&T prominently advertises particular flat monthly rates for its post-paid wireless service plans.” However, after customers sign up, the telecommunications company “covertly increases the actual price” by tacking on the “bogus so-called ‘Administrative Fee,'” according to the lawsuit filed Thursday in US District Court for the Northern District of California.

AT&T “hides” the fee in an easy-to-miss spot in customer bills, the complaint says, and it “misleadingly suggests that the Administrative Fee is akin to a tax or another standard government pass-through fee, when in fact it is simply a way for AT&T to advertise and promise lower rates than it actually charges.”

AT&T Lawsuit about Selling Location Data

AT&T is just one of many tech companies charged in a massive lawsuit, as reported by Mashable.

The four major wireless telecommunication companies in the U.S. have just been hit with massive class action lawsuit.

The suit claims that AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, and T-Mobile all violated customers’ privacy by sharing their data to third party brokers. In turn, the brokers sold the data to middlemen, bounty hunters, bail bondsmen, and debt collectors.

The complaint alleges that the four biggest U.S. mobile carriers violated federal communications law by sharing phone numbers, geolocation data, and other account information. The class action covers approximately 300 million customers affected between April 30, 2015 and to February 15, 2019.

AT&T Lawsuit over Fax Spam

AT&T spamming fax machines, as Top Class Actions reports:

AT&T faces a class action lawsuit seeking damages and claiming that the company sent unsolicited faxes.

According to lead plaintiff Vahe Messerlian, consumers who received these unsolicited faxes were forced to pay for the “junk faxes” due to a subscription that charged per fax. Because AT&T allegedly failed to give consumers the option to opt out of receiving these communications, they had no choice but to pay for the junk faxes, according to Law360.

Messerlian brings claims against AT&T under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). The TCPA is a federal law that aims to prevent harassment through text messages, fax communications, and telephone calls.

AT&T Lawsuit from Florida School District

An Orange County, Florida school district recently sued AT&T for overcharging students and school facilities for phone service, per WFTV9 ABC:

Last year, WFTV Eyewitness News reported the district was suing for fraud, after the Federal Communication Commission uncovered more than $1 million in alleged over billing for phone service. AT&T wanted the case thrown out, arguing that even if everything OCPS said is true, it doesn’t constitute fraud. A judge ruled the company committed fraudulent actions.

A transcript from inside that federal courtroom shows AT&T’s lawyer argued, “all [OCPS] had to do was read the invoices that were charging them higher pricing.”

After hearing from both sides, the judge ruled, saying in part, “Charging plaintiff a certain rate, and omitting information regarding [lower rates], constitutes the alleged fraudulent misrepresentation.”

AT&T Lawsuit from Shareholders

According to Ars Technica, AT&T’s investors have discovered a lot of problems with the company lying about their DirecTV Now promotions in the past few months, and have since filed a class action suit.

AT&T lied to investors in order to hide the failure of its DirecTV Now streaming TV service, a proposed class action alleges.

AT&T told investors that DirecTV Now was succeeding, even as its subscriber base fell due to price increases and the discontinuance of promotional discounts, said the complaint filed Monday in US District Court for the Southern District of New York. The complaint accuses AT&T and executives including CEO Randall Stephenson of violating the US Securities Act by “knowingly or recklessly” making false statements to investors and failing to disclose problems that affected DirecTV Now sales.

AT&T Lawsuit by the Electronic Frontier Foundation

The EFF brings us the following case:

In Hepting v. AT&T, EFF sued the telecommunications giant on behalf of its customers for violating privacy law by collaborating with the NSA in the massive, illegal program to wiretap and data-mine Americans’ communications.

Evidence in the case includes undisputed evidence provided by former AT&T telecommunications technician Mark Klein showing AT&T routed copies of Internet traffic to a secret room in San Francisco that the NSA controlled.

AT&T Lawsuit for Past Overcharging & Bad Service

This story from Public Justice outlines a common case involving AT&T:

A class action lawsuit charging that millions of cell phone users were misled and overcharged when Cingular merged with AT&T Wireless in 2004 may go forward, a federal court ruled on May 26.

Cingular bought AT&T’s cell phone system in October 2004, after assuring federal regulators that the merger would be “seamless.” As the lawsuit contends, instead of providing the new and improved services it promised AT&T customers, Cingular immediately began dismantling and degrading the AT&T network, forcing AT&T customers to move to Cingular’s network. That meant buying new phone equipment, moving to higher cost plans, and, in some cases, paying an $18 “transfer” or “upgrade fee.” Some customers who tried to sign up with another company were hit with an “early termination fee” of $175. Others who didn’t want to pay or couldn’t afford the termination fees were stuck with riding out their contract with AT&T Wireless while suffering poor to no reception, as well as paying an extra monthly fee of $4.99.

AT&T Lawsuit by Sprint over 5G Speed

ZDNet reports on a recent case between AT&T and Sprint:

Sprint has filed a lawsuit against AT&T over its 5G E advertising, calling it false and misleading by deceiving customers to believe that its 4G LTE Advanced network is actually 5G.

The complaint claims that AT&T is making itself seem more technologically advanced than its competitors, which is causing “irreparable harm” to Sprint.

“AT&T has employed numerous deceptive tactics to mislead consumers into believing that it currently offers a coveted and highly anticipated fifth generation wireless network, known as 5G,” the complaint, filed in the United States District Court Southern District of New York, said.

“What AT&T touts as 5G, however, is nothing more than an enhanced fourth-generation Long-Term Evolution wireless service, known as 4G LTE Advanced, which is offered by all other major wireless carriers.”

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