AG Cooper wins refunds for consumers overcharged by AT&T
Release date: 7/1/2004
Raleigh: Nearly 50,000 North Carolina consumers who were overcharged by AT&T will share in more than $500,000 in refunds and credits, Attorney General Roy Cooper announced today.
“People shouldn’t have to pay for a charge they didn’t agree to,” said Cooper. “Consumers let us know about these extra charges, and we were able to help get their money back.”
An extra monthly charge of $3.95 first appeared on some consumers’ bills for AT&T long distance service in January 2004. Several consumers who did not subscribe to AT&T for long distance were also billed for the fee.
Cooper’s office first found out about the billing problems when consumers began calling to complain. Approximately 80 consumers have filed complaints about the extra charges with the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division. After meeting with attorneys from Cooper’s office, AT&T agreed to provide refunds and credits to all North Carolina consumers who were billed in error.
According to an affidavit filed this week by AT&T, the company overcharged 11,202 AT&T customers and 36,883 non-customers in North Carolina. These consumers will get a total of more than $500,000 back. Current AT&T customers who paid the extra fee should look for credits on their phone bill. Non-AT&T customers should receive their refund by mail.
Consumers who were billed in error by AT&T do not need to file a complaint with Cooper’s office in order to receive their refund or credit. The company also says that it has taken steps to ensure that consumers are not overcharged again.
“To make sure you don’t get stuck with charges you don’t owe, study your monthly phone bill just as carefully as you would your bank and credit card statements,” Cooper advised consumers. “If you think you’ve been overcharged, call your phone company and also let my office know about it.”
Consumers who believe that they have been billed incorrectly by a telephone company can contact the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division at (877)-5-NO-SCAM to file a complaint.