Friday, May 20, 2011

iPad Data Being Overcharged

An MSNBC, Today Show, investigative report has been looking into claims that AT&T has “systematically overstated” the data usage of iPhone and iPad customers. During the clip below, Lisa Myers asked and investigator “Did you find overcharges on every single transaction,” he responded “Yes, every single one,”

She then asked “Did you ever find an instance where the discrepancy worked to the benefit of the customer,” The investigator then stated “Never, Always an overcharge; never an undercharge.” This study found that AT&T overstates customer data usage from 7% to 14%, with some variations up to 300%.

Statement from AT&T to Boy Genius Report

Accurate billing is clearly important and, unfortunately, there have been some incorrect claims about our data usage billing practices. We properly charge for all data that our customers send and receive, including data activity that runs in the background on smartphones and other powerful data devices. Data usage for emailing, downloading applications, browsing the web, downloading a video or streaming music is all applied to a customers’ data plan. So are real-time updates to applications, such as weather updates, sports scores, or stock tickers. Particularly for smartphones, tablets and other advanced mobile devices, applications are often constantly running in the background and engaged with our network. And, AT&T captures your data activity nightly to create a bill record in our systems. This will appear on your bill to be a late night “charge,” but in fact, the time stamp reflects the time that your device established a connection to the network, not the time that you sent or received data.

I would be interested to see the investigators comparison of the Verizon network with a similarly idle iPhone.

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