AT&T and Southwestern Bell are the latest phone companies being accused of fraudulent billing practices in a federal class action lawsuit that accuses both companies of placing “misleading or deceptive charges on [their] landline phone bills, which were never authorized, ordered or requested by billed customers.”
Most of the fraudulent billing class action lawsuits we’ve reported on have been against wireless phone companies (see the AT&T Wireless Settlement here and two Verizon Wireless class actions here and here), but the AT&T Southwestern Bell fraudulent billing class action concerns landline phone bills.
“During the statutory period, Defendants began placing on monthly landline telephone bills of [customers] unauthorized, misleading, or deceptive charges for prepaid services [and] collected a fee for these charges,” the class action lawsuit states. These charges were disguised on the bills as “Enhanced Services,” “HBS Billing Services” and/or “ILD Teleservices.”
The plaintiffs in the AT&T and Southwestern Bell class action lawsuit claim that prior to discovering these unauthorized prepaid services charges, they had never heard of Enhanced Services, HBS Billing Services or ILD Teleservices, nor had they ever authorized or ordered any services that came under these names. They claim that even though they were billed for the unauthorized charges, they never received information about the purported prepaid services; they never used the services; and were refused refunds of the money they previously paid for the unauthorized, misleading, prepaid service charges.
The AT&T and Southwestern Bell class action lawsuit is brought on behalf of all U.S. residents who at any time between December 27, 2008 and December 23, 2010 were, or are, customers of AT&T and Southwestern Bell and who were charged for an item on their monthly landline telephone bills identified in Defendants’ monthly statements as “Enhanced Services,” or “HBS Billing Services,” or “ILD Teleservices” but who did not order, authorize or request these prepaid services.
If certified, the class action will seek damages, interest and other relief for class members.
A copy of the AT&T Southwestern Bell Unauthorized Service Charges Class Action Lawsuit can be read here.
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