US Senators ask AT&T for more info on iPhone data charges

You may remember that earlier this week we posted a story about a group who has filed a lawsuit against AT&T. That group claims it got charged for data on AT&T's iPhones even though the group disabled all data based applications and left the phones alone for two weeks. AT&T responded to the lawsuit denying any wrongdoing, saying that the iPhones were still generating data charges due to unnamed "background processes".

That rather vague response didn't make some federal lawmakers very happy. Wispolitics.com reports that this week US Senators Amy Klobuchar and Herb Kohl sent a letter to AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson asking him for more information on how AT&T handles its data charges and other related matters. The lawmarkers, while writing that they understand that AT&T doesn't feel it has overcharged its customers, added, " ... consumers cannot easily verify that the amount of data used in any given month is equal to what they have been charged for on their bill. "

The senators ask Stephenson to "please specify how AT&T ensures the accuracy of billing for data usage and provide an estimate of the extent of errors in such billing." It also asks the company to "please explain how AT&T enables consumers to verify that their data usage is accurately billed." Finally the lawmakers ask AT&T to provide "the average number of customers who exceed their monthly data usage caps, and the average amount such customers are billed for excess data usage during the three months preceding the date of this letter."

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I thought your require to have a data plan if you have a smartphone on AT&T anyway? Can someone confirm this for me? I automatically got a data plan when I bought a iPhone and my friend said it was required with smartphones.

DeathsyctheHe11 said,
I thought your require to have a data plan if you have a smartphone on AT&T anyway? Can someone confirm this for me? I automatically got a data plan when I bought a iPhone and my friend said it was required with smartphones.

Yes smartphones are required with a data plan... if you want a flip phone (razr for example) without extra features, you do not need data plan for it.. unless you get a smartphone so you will be given a data plan with limited minutes.

Not really. They require you to sign up for a data plan when purchasing smartphones in order to get the full discount (rebate); however, they do not always require you to keep the data plan active. For example, I have a Samsung smartphone on my family plan that does not have a data plan and is used only for phone calls and texting.

Xerax said,
Can you change the iPhone image you guys use? Since there isn't 2 sizes of iPhones. lol.

HA. Didn't even notice that.

Xerax said,
Can you change the iPhone image you guys use? Since there isn't 2 sizes of iPhones. lol.

I keep seeing that image everywhere. Yeah, there aren't two different sizes. It's stupid. lol

Xerax said,
Can you change the iPhone image you guys use? Since there isn't 2 sizes of iPhones. lol.

It's the iPhone mini on the right.

Xerax said,
Can you change the iPhone image you guys use? Since there isn't 2 sizes of iPhones. lol.

It's the iPhone mini on the right.

If I remember well they said 98% do not go over 2 GB, which makes the caps pretty much stupid considering you can deal with 2% of your users instead of screwing 100% of them.

O5M3L said,
If I remember well they said 98% do not go over 2 GB, which makes the caps pretty much stupid considering you can deal with 2% of your users instead of screwing 100% of them.

How is it "screwing" 100% of users? You yourself just admitted that 98% of users do not breach their data cap, therefore don't get charged extra, therefore don't get screwed. At worst, the caps are screwing 2% of people (your numbers).

O5M3L said,
If I remember well they said 98% do not go over 2 GB, which makes the caps pretty much stupid considering you can deal with 2% of your users instead of screwing 100% of them.
Question is, why would you?

O5M3L said,
If I remember well they said 98% do not go over 2 GB, which makes the caps pretty much stupid considering you can deal with 2% of your users instead of screwing 100% of them.

If 98% dont exceed the data cap, then how are they screwed exactly?
Only the 2% u mentioned are screwed, and its a small percentage to consider.

WiCkeD SaM said,

If 98% dont exceed the data cap, then how are they screwed exactly?
Only the 2% u mentioned are screwed, and its a small percentage to consider.

I think he means that as 98% dont go over the cap, why have the cap....just allow that small 2% to go over and deal with them - instead of forcing an 'all users' cap. Of course your next point is 'but 98% dont go over the cap', but this maybe, for some, entirely due to the cap - so some are being screwed.

But then my 2nd point conflicts with my first, as if more went over 2GB (no cap scenario), then the 98/2% figures would change, so the point is......I have no clue what is best!

they are just going to say its "network and routing traffic" like comcast does.... on comcast's cable network sitting idle for a month you could rack up 4GB in multi cast and ARP packet traffic..... I'd imagine that AT&T has similar network traffic... but the problem is you shouldn't be charged for that, as its not something you can stop..... but they will bill you anyways.... just like SMS's... you pay for one someone sends you (in the USA at least if you don't have unlimited plans)

Stewart Gilligan Griffin said,
they are just going to say its "network and routing traffic" like comcast does.... on comcast's cable network sitting idle for a month you could rack up 4GB in multi cast and ARP packet traffic..... I'd imagine that AT&T has similar network traffic... but the problem is you shouldn't be charged for that, as its not something you can stop..... but they will bill you anyways.... just like SMS's... you pay for one someone sends you (in the USA at least if you don't have unlimited plans)

What the heck have you been smoking? Unless you have a rediculous amount of computers on your network, there is no way in hell that you can generate 4GB of idle multicast and ARP traffic. I agree with AT&T on this one, iOS does an awful lot of sneaky crap behind users backs and I would be willing to bet that the OS is generating the phantom traffic.