AT&T sued over hidden fee that raises mobile prices above advertised rate
As the complaint notes, "AT&T prominently advertises particular flat monthly rates for its post-paid wireless service plans." But after customers sign up, the telco "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 also provides an explanation "deep within" its website, but this is not an adequate disclosure, and the website description "serves to further AT&T’s deception and scheme by suggesting that the Administrative Fee is tied to certain costs associated with AT&T providing wireless telephone services (interconnect charges and cell site rental charges)," the complaint said.