A federal class action lawsuit claims Sprint Nextel cheats customers with EVO and EPIC devices by tacking on a $10 monthly “Premium Data Add-On” fee after selling them a supposedly “unlimited data” plan.
The Sprint Nextel class action lawsuit accuses the wireless carrier of over-billing millions of customers who had already subscribed to an “unlimited” data plan at a fixed monthly price by charging those customers an additional $10 per month for the same unlimited data service they had already paid for, at a contractually agreed upon price that did not include these charges.
Sprint sells dozens of these supposedly unlimited data plans, all of which are supposed to include unlimited domestic web access; unlimited domestic text, picture mail and video mail messages; and all you can stream, browse, email, chat, watch and game on the Sprint network.
Ever since Sprint introduced the HTC EVO 4G and Samsung EPIC 4G last year, however, it began charging EVO and EPIC customers who were already contractually entitled to unlimited data service under an Unlimited Data Plan a “Premium Data Add-One” fee of $10 per month in order to get “unlimited” data, just for using an EVO or EPIC device.
According to the Sprint unlimited data plan class action, this Premium Data Add-On fee is not a charge for 4G service, in not a charge for premium data content (Sprint does not provide any “premium” content in exchange for this fee), and is not defined in Sprint’s terms and conditions.
Simply put: “’Premium Data Add-On’ is a made-up term that Sprint created to attempt to disguise the fact that it was simply charging an additional fee for data services for which customers had already paid, and which Sprint was already obligated to provide, under existing contracts for Unlimited Data Plans,” the class action lawsuit states.
The Sprint Premium Data Add-On class action lawsuit is brought on behalf of a nationwide class of all consumers who were subscribed to a Sprint Unlimited Data Plan and were charged an additional “Premium Data” fee. It also seeks to represent a subclass of all class members who accounts show a California area code and billing address.
The Sprint Surcharge Class Action Lawsuit is Eric Barkwell, et al. v. Sprint Communications Company, Case No. 4:09-cv-00056-CLD, in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Georgia, Columbus Division
UPDATE: A class action settlement in the case was preliminarily approved in October 2013. Class Members had until March 24, 2014 to file a claim to receive a number of benefits, including a $1 cash award or one of the following: a 30-minute long distance, domestic calling card; a 30-percent discount on any accessory purchased at a Sprint-owned retail store, limited to one accessory; or waiver of the $36 activation fee when activating a new line of service under Sprint’s then-existing Terms & Conditions of Services. More info: Sprint Surcharge Class Action Lawsuit Settlement
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