AT&T Mobility to refund Washington state wireless customers for roadside assistance program fees - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

AT&T Mobility to refund Washington state wireless customers for roadside assistance program fees

Posted: Updated:
  • Also on KHQ.comMore>>

  • Cell phone companies questioned about texting charges

    Cell phone companies questioned about texting charges

    SPOKANE, Wash. - Texting is now a way of life for many people, but just like its popularity, the price of texting has skyrocketed. When you break down the cost per text, it is one of the most expensive ways to communicate.>>
    SPOKANE, Wash. - Text messaging is now a way of life for many people, but just like its popularity, the price of texting has skyrocketed. When you break down the actual cost per text, it is one of the most expensive ways to communicate. AT&T did sent a statement insisting most of its customers take advantage of a texting plan, like $5.00 for 200 text messages. That's still the equivalent of well over $100 to download a song off iTunes. >>

From: Attorney General of Washington

OLYMPIA - Calling all current and former AT&T Mobility customers: If you have a wireless phone, you may have paid $2.99 per month without your knowledge for a program called Roadside Assistance. The Washington Attorney General's Office says that if you didn't use the service and didn't authorize the addition of the service to your wireless account, you may qualify for a refund under a new settlement filed today in Thurston County Superior Court.

The Attorney General's Office reached an agreement with AT&T Mobility, LLC, and Asurion Roadside Assistance Services, LLC, in which AT&T Mobility agrees to provide at least partial refunds to qualifying current and former customers - including some previous Cingular Wireless subscribers. An eligible consumer may receive up to $26.91, nine months' worth of those $2.99 charges.

"AT&T Mobility's efforts to promote Roadside Assistance hit a roadblock when consumers complained that Roadside Assistance was added to their accounts without their knowledge and that they were charged without their authorization," Assistant Attorney General Katherine Tassi said.

The state's investigation looked into allegations of "cramming," a deceptive practice where businesses stuff fees for services consumers never authorized onto their bills, and into allegations that AT&T Mobility failed to disclose material terms about its free trial offer of Roadside Assistance.

AT&T Mobility and Asurion denied any wrongdoing but have agreed to restrictions on how they market Roadside Assistance in the future.  In addition, AT&T Mobility agreed to provide restitution to qualifying consumers and to pay $500,000 to the Attorney General's Consumer Protection Division to be used for attorneys' fees, consumer education or other purposes determined by the office.

The Attorney General's Office believes that Cingular Wireless began selling Roadside Assistance to its customers in August 2004 through the use of an initial free trial, followed by automatic billing. Cingular was acquired by AT&T, Inc., in December 2006, and was rebranded as AT&T Mobility. AT&T Mobility continued enrolling customers in Asurion's Roadside Assistance program using a free trial offer.

Under the agreement, AT&T Mobility and Asurion must stop selling Roadside Assistance using free trial offers. AT&T Mobility and Asurion will disclose all material terms, including the cost of Roadside Assistance  and the method and frequency of payments, at the time Roadside Assistance is offered and in a purchase confirmation following a sale. AT&T Mobility may not add Roadside Assistance to consumers' accounts without consumers affirmatively choosing to purchase the service. 

The AT&T Mobility will randomly review telephone calls when Roadside Assistance is offered and conduct random on-site audits at stores and kiosks to ensure employees are properly disclosing all material terms and conditions when promoting Asurion's program.

"Small fees on your phone bill can be easily overlooked," Tassi said. "But when many people are paying a few extra dollars per month, that can add up to big profits."

"Businesses need to be upfront when marketing optional services," she said. "They must make clear and complete disclosures when offering a free trial that will automatically convert to a paid subscription unless the consumer cancels."


CONSUMER REFUNDS

  • Consumers who are eligible for refunds will be contacted by AT&T Mobility by mail or e-mail within 90 days. Consumers qualify for restitution if they 1) were enrolled in and paid for Roadside Assistance service between Aug. 1, 2004, and Feb. 26, 2009, 2) did not use the roadside assistance service, 3) did not authorize the addition of Roadside Assistance to their account; 4) did not already receive a refund for Roadside Assistance; and 5) wish to cancel, if they haven't already.
  • Eligible consumers must submit a timely and valid claim form requesting a refund. Claim forms are due within 45 days of receiving notice.
  • Refund amounts depend on when consumers were first enrolled in Roadside Assistance program and how long they paid for the service.

o       Eligible consumers who were first enrolled in the program between Aug. 1, 2004, and Oct. 1, 2006, will be reimbursed for a maximum of nine payments.

o       Eligible consumers who were enrolled in the program after Oct. 1, 2006, will be reimbursed for a maximum of six payments.

  • Current AT&T Mobility customers entitled to a refund will receive a credit on their account; former customers will be paid by check.
  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Navy issues updated statement on 'irresponsible and immature act' after obscene images drawn in skies over Okanogan Co.

    Navy issues updated statement on 'irresponsible and immature act' after obscene images drawn in skies over Okanogan Co.

    Friday, November 17 2017 4:50 PM EST2017-11-17 21:50:11 GMT

    OMAK, Wash. - I can picture the Austin Powers bit now.  The people of Omak looking up at the sky and seeing a giant (Fill in the blank innuendo here) just like in 1999's Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me. If you're unfamiliar, I'll save you a Google search.  A simple, yet effectively funny joke.  Except the U.S. Navy doesn't see humor in the real-life version at all.  

    >>

    OMAK, Wash. - I can picture the Austin Powers bit now.  The people of Omak looking up at the sky and seeing a giant (Fill in the blank innuendo here) just like in 1999's Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me. If you're unfamiliar, I'll save you a Google search.  A simple, yet effectively funny joke.  Except the U.S. Navy doesn't see humor in the real-life version at all.  

    >>
  • Spokane Valley Detectives arrest third suspect in Bret Snow homicide investigation

    Spokane Valley Detectives arrest third suspect in Bret Snow homicide investigation

    Friday, November 17 2017 3:55 PM EST2017-11-17 20:55:46 GMT

    SPOKANE VALLEY, Wash. - Spokane Valley Major Crimes Detectives have made a third arrest in the homicide investigation of Bret Snow.  37-year-old Cheryl L. Sutton was arrested on charges of Leading Organized Crime and Criminal Conspiracy to Commit 1st Degree Murder and 1st Degree Kidnapping in connection to Snow's disappearance.  

    >>

    SPOKANE VALLEY, Wash. - Spokane Valley Major Crimes Detectives have made a third arrest in the homicide investigation of Bret Snow.  37-year-old Cheryl L. Sutton was arrested on charges of Leading Organized Crime and Criminal Conspiracy to Commit 1st Degree Murder and 1st Degree Kidnapping in connection to Snow's disappearance.  

    >>
  • Two Colorado doctors claim baby boy fatally overdosed on marijuana

    Two Colorado doctors claim baby boy fatally overdosed on marijuana

    Thursday, November 16 2017 10:57 AM EST2017-11-16 15:57:39 GMT

    DENVER - Two doctors from Colorado claim that their patient, a baby boy, died of an overdose on marijuana. The case in question happened in 2015 the second year of recreational marijuana sales in Colorado. An 11-month-old boy came into the ER after a seizure, barely conscious.

    >>

    DENVER - Two doctors from Colorado claim that their patient, a baby boy, died of an overdose on marijuana. The case in question happened in 2015 the second year of recreational marijuana sales in Colorado. An 11-month-old boy came into the ER after a seizure, barely conscious.

    >>
HD DOPPLER 6i
/