AT&T Meters Inaccurate for Internet Data Overage Charges

Matthew Torino March 26, 2011 0

As many of you know, AT&T recently decided to start charging its DSL and U-Verse Internet users with overage charges for going over their allotted data amount usage. That's nothing new as many ISPs in Canada have been using this metered billing for years with varying levels of success. However, that's not the main problem with AT&T's decision to use these metered billing programs; the real problem is that they are extremely inaccurate. 

After AT&T implemented a gigabyte cap of 150 and 250 GB for DSL and U-Verse users respectively, people weren't exactly thrilled as you might expect. Unlimited data plans are pretty popular as you don't have to worry about using a certain amount of data when it's very hard to track it yourself. That's why there's such concern with the acquisition of T-Mobile. But caps are one thing. It's entirely another when the usage under those caps is calculated incorrectly. 

According to users on DSL Reports, the AT&T meters can underreport usage by about 90% in a day which would obviously be good for a consumer. Not as good as unlimited data would be but that's understood. It's still feels like you're getting away with something. But other days, apparently the same user says AT&T can over report your usage by, wait for it 4700%!!!!!. Yeah that's not exactly a good thing. 

This isn't exactly going to be good for AT&T's business as people will be even more reticent of them and their mismanaged caps. People already were fed up with the iPhone being AT&T exclusive until very recently and now they'll just be seen as even more of a heartless giant after this. 

We hope for the consumers' sake that AT&T will fix this very soon as this is beyond immoral if it keeps up and may lead to litigation down the line against the company. As DSL reports says, they want to bill like a utility but not be regulated like one. ISPs better make up their mind or it's going to be made up for them. Errors like these will lead to legal problems and could eventually lead to government intervention and the regulation of the ISPs. I'm pretty sure AT&T doesn't' want that so they had better get their act together. 

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