AT&T settled a suit last Friday, agreeing to repay thousands of Florida consumers who were billed for services advertised as free. AT&T has said that the issue is often third-party companies that advertise services such as ringtones and text messages for free, but then customers are surprised to find charges on their bills.
AT&T said that it didn’t charge customers for the downloaded content; it only billed customers for purchasing third-party services. The carrier also said that this is an industry-wide issue and as part of the settlement it has agreed to police such offers and make it clearer what customers are being charged for.
Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum said his office received a few hundred complaints about the carrier’s billing practices, and once it began investigations, found that AT&T had received thousands of complaints.
Under the agreement, AT&T also agreed to pay the state of Florida $2.5 million and contribute $500,000 toward consumer education on safe Internet use.