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AT&T class-action settlement
© Alain Lacroix |

AT&T is paying out a $14M class-action settlement – How to get your cut

Sometimes companies tack on extra fees or hidden costs, hoping customers won’t notice. Network provider AT&T found itself in hot water in 2019 as it turned out its unlimited data plan wasn’t so unlimited after all.

But it’s as if the company didn’t learn anything from the legal battle that followed, as AT&T was recently caught in another billing debacle. If you were impacted by the latest class-action lawsuit, you must hurry to file a claim.

Read on to see if you’re eligible for a payout and how to file a claim.

Here’s the backstory

AT&T claims that it didn’t do anything wrong in the latest grievance. But the company has reached a settlement to end the matter.

The class-action lawsuit alleges that AT&T started to charge California customers an administrative fee for each wireless line in May 2013. The plaintiffs claim that the company did so without informing customers.

According to legal documents, AT&T is accused of adding the fee to increase its basic rate “without having to advertise the higher prices.” Again, AT&T denies any wrongdoing but has agreed to settle the matter.

Legally, this means that neither AT&T nor the plaintiffs make any admissions on who is wrong or right. The company essentially agreed to pay $14 million to make the case disappear. It says that it will continue to charge the administrative fee and might even increase it in the future.

What you can do about it

You must file a claim soon if you think you qualify for settlement money. The cut-off for any claim is Oct. 29, 2022. If you do nothing, you can’t institute a claim afterward. 

Customers affected by the lawsuit received notices which contained a Notice ID and Confirmation Code. You must go to the File A Claim section on the dedicated website and follow the instructions.

If you haven’t received a notice but still believe you should be included in the settlement, there is a different portal you must click. On the same File A Claim page is a Click Here button for those who didn’t receive a notification.

To qualify, you must:

  • Reside in California (based on the accountholder’s last known billing address).
  • Have a post-paid wireless service plan from AT&T through a Consumer or Individual Responsibility User (IRU) account.
  • The account was charged an administrative fee between June 20, 2015, and June 16, 2022.

In most class-action cases, the final payment depends on the number of people who file a claim. Customers got about $2 in the last settlement. But this lawsuit could pay out as much as $20. It’s not much, but at least it’s something.

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