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Saturday, October 19, 2019

California plaintiffs allege AT&T Mobility's administrative fee is a 'bait-and-switch scheme'

Lawsuits

By Carrie Bradon | Jun 28, 2019


SAN FRANCISCO (Legal Newsline) – Two California residents allege AT&T Mobility has made millions in ill-gotten gains through its charging of an administrative fee for post-paid wireless customers.

Ian Vianu and Irina Bukchin, on behalf of themselves and all others similarly situated, filed a complaint on June 20 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California against AT&T Mobility LLC alleging violation breach of implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing and other counts.

The plaintiffs allege the defendant perpetuates a "bait-and-switch scheme" against wireless customers. They allege the defendant advertises flat monthly rates for post-paid wireless plans and then charges higher rates. The plaintiffs allege that the defendant adds a $1.99 administrative fee per line to the bills of all customers every month that it failed to disclose.

"The so-called administrative fee is not, in fact, a bona fide administrative fee, but rather is simply a means for AT&T to charge more per month for the service itself without having to advertise the higher prices," the suit states. "Through this scheme, AT&T has unfairly and improperly extracted hundreds of millions of dollars in ill-gotten gains from California consumers."

The plaintiffs are seeking trial by jury, damages, restitution, attorneys’ fees, costs, interest and other relief deemed fit. The plaintiffs are represented by Michael W. Sobol, Roger N. Heller, Sarah R. London and Avery S. Halfon of Lieff Cabraser Heiman & Bernstein LLP in San Francisco; and Daniel M. Hattis and Paul Karl Lukacs of Hattis & Lukacs in Bellevue, Washington.

U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California case number 3:19-CV-03602

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U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California

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