AT&T is about to get rid of its fake $1.99 ‘admin fee’

AT&T quietly scammed customers since 2013 hundreds of millions of dollars Add in a bogus “admin fee,” and that fee more than doubled to $1.99 a month in 2018. During the years there, a class-action lawsuit in California made it seem as though AT&T might finally be taking on the task. But this week, both sides told the judge they settled for only $14 million — meaning customers may get less than 10% of what they paid AT&T, And AT&T continues to charge them.

Under the proposed settlement Vianu v. AT&T Mobile — which still needs to be approved by a judge — nearly all AT&T Wireless postpaid customers in California since 2015 will be eligible for payments estimated to be between $15 and $29.

But again, that’s a fraction of what AT&T’s own records show it’s charging: It’s been charging an average of $180 per customer since 2015, according to the filing. They read that the settlement was “equivalent to a refund of approximately 6-11 months of average fees”. Meanwhile, lawyers could get $3.5 million.

“The estimated payment amounts represent a strong outcome for the Settlement Class, especially given the significant risks, costs and delays of ongoing litigation,” the proposed settlement reads, continuing to list all the ways attorneys at suing AT&T believe AT&T may Still win the case.

No doubt the fees were bogus, in case you were wondering: Judge Laurel Beeler previously blocked AT&T’s attempt to dismiss the case because the company “deceptively and unfairly disclosed [the administrative fee] as a pass-through cost. That said, AT&T can’t pretend it was an unexpected fee that was just passed on to the customer — the carrier is making a profit! However, the plaintiffs’ legal team won’t be chasing victory.

Oh, and if you’re still an AT&T customer, you won’t even get a check in the mail, assuming this version of the settlement is approved. The money will be credited to your AT&T account, and AT&T can put it back into it again for $1.99 — or more if it feels brave enough to increase the fee again. (Admittedly, this is a more reliable way to ensure customers get their money back.)

If approved, you may find the billing website here.

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