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Lawsuit claims Apple, AT & T promoted 'deceptive' data plans

Fri, 06/25/2010 - 8:10am
Maisie Ramsay, Wireless Week

A San Francisco-based law firm wants to get class-action status for a suit that claims Apple and AT&T deceptively promoted the data plans for the iPad 3G.

The suit's plaintiffs allege that Apple and AT&T issued misleading marketing about the iPad 3G data plans, which at the time included an unlimited data plan and a 250 MB data plan that users could switch between at will.

One month after the iPad 3G hit shelves, AT&T announced it was cancelling its unlimited data plans in favor of cheaper plans with limits on how much data could be consumed each month. Users already on an unlimited plan could keep their all-you-can-eat service, but if they chose to switch to a capped plan, AT&T did not allow them to return to an unlimited plan. AT&T's data caps went into effect one week after they announced the changes and coincided with the unveiling of Apple's latest iPhone.

The complaint alleges that iPad 3G purchasers who initially opted for the limited data plan have been stripped of their ability to later opt for the unlimited data plan, as promised in the advertising for the tablet.

The complaint further alleges that consumers were convinced to opt for the more expensive 3G model, which costs $130 more than the Wi-Fi-only model, based on the advertised benefits of having an unlimited data plan and the ability to switch in and out of that plan as their demand for data changed.

The law firm representing the plaintiffs, Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, wants to extend the suit to cover all individuals and entities within the United States who purchased or ordered an Apple iPad 3G on or before June 6.

Neither Apple nor AT&T could be reached for comment by press time.

More Broadband Direct 6/25/10:

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•  Comcast's Project Cavalry rides into Fort Collins, Colo.
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•  FCC temporarily pauses review of Comcast-NBC deal
•  Maine regulators approve FairPoint bankruptcy plan
•  Lawsuit claims Apple, AT&T promoted 'deceptive' data plans

•  Apple: Don't hold the iPhone 4 like that

•  Bing's new bling: TV, music from Microsoft search
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