While T-Mobile hasn’t quite stayed true to its promise from a few years back to get rid of taxes and fees, it’s easy to see why that pledge made such a splash in the first place, undoubtedly contributing to the rise of the “Un-carrier” to the silver medal position in terms of subscribers at the three major US wireless service providers.
The Magenta, the major airline surpassed shortly after Sprint’s acquisition, happens to charge some questionable fees every month, one of which in particular has sparked criticism, frustration, and ultimately legal action over the years.
Don’t expect to get rich here
A drawn-out lawsuit filed in June 2019 is finally almost an end
as AT&T recently agreed
to “establish a $14 million non-reversionary mutual settlement fund.” While that may seem like quite a bit of money to cough up as a result of a so-called “admin fee” of just a few dollars a month, the said dollars have certainly led to many more millions in AT&T’s coffers since 2019.
After removing attorneys’ fees and other legal costs from the settlement equation, the $14 million is expected to result in payments of approximately $15 to $29 for any California AT&T customer who will consider submit a claim on this website
before October 29.
A get-rich-quick scheme… it certainly isn’t.
Unfortunately, the settlement only applies to residents of California
but on the plus side both current and past postpaid AT&T subscribers should be eligible for the same financial compensation. This won’t be affected in any way by your time with the carrier or when exactly you’ve decided to ditch AT&T in favor of a less deceptive competitor, although of course it’s worth bearing in mind that the administrative fee involved here the order was (silently) introduced in 2013.
That silence was, of course, the main reason behind the widespread customer dissatisfaction that led to this class action, although AT&T claimed the fee was “sufficiently disclosed” on everyone’s accounts. Because so many people continued to use his services long after they supposedly noticed the fee on their first bills, the carrier refused to pay more than $14 million in total to make the lawsuit go away.
Could have been better, could have been worse
Meanwhile, the class action plaintiffs and their counsel believe the settlement is in everyone’s best interest, essentially out of fear that AT&T would ultimately win the case and not pay any fine or simply end a three-year-long legal saga.
Your potential payments of $15 to $29 are estimated to cover anywhere from 6 to 11 months of “average” administrative costs, which is certainly better than nothing… but it does little to solve the core problem of this controversy. While this is undoubtedly misleading, this fee (and others like it) is here to stay, and if AT&T suffers from this $14 million fee, there’s nothing stopping it from raising that fee and bringing in the loss. payback in a few months.
If you’re really frustrated with these kinds of fees, just turn your back on AT&T.
Worse, current AT&T customers who want to file a claim and receive a 6 to 11 month “refund” in administrative fees will receive this refund via “automatic account credit”, from which the carrier can then easily take the money back through the good to make other taxes.
Former AT&T subscribers, on the other hand, should get a check in the mail… eventually, unless, of course, you choose to stop paying for the settlement by September 29 with an exclusion request (more details here
), in which case you reserve the right to sue AT&T separately in the same case and ask for more money.