A woman in Oklahoma bought a 3G netbook from RadioShack for $100, subsidized by a two-year data plan from AT&T Mobility. That plan comes with a 5GB monthly data cap, which she exceeded, and as a result her first monthly bill was over $5,000. Now the two companies are facing a class action lawsuit that alleges they are not clearly disclosing to purchasers that overage fees could be “astronomical.”
We don’t know any more details about the woman’s story, but the $60/mo DataConnect plan offered directly from AT&T Mobility has a similar 5GB limit, and every GB over that bills at $480. If that’s a reliable model, then we can assume this woman must have gone over her monthly limit by 9 or 10 GB.
And if that’s the case, then WHAT THE HELL was she using her netbook for? Certainly not email or general web browsing—maybe bittorrent downloads, or streaming TV and movies. And if that’s the case, then we’re wondering just what kind of explanation was given by the RadioShack rep who sold the package. At $480 per GB overage, you certainly should be warned to be mindful of your data usage—but then that begs the question of why AT&T Mobility wouldn’t contact her as soon as she exceeded her 5GB limit, or disable access since she’s a new customer who might not understand the intricacies of overage billing.
Anyway, the lawsuit specifically accuses RadioShack and AT&T Mobility 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.