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Government sues AT&T over improper billing

Written by Andre Yoskowitz (Google+) @ 22 Mar 2012 19:07 User comments (4)

Government sues AT&T over improper billing The U.S. DOJ has sued AT&T, claiming the carrier improperly billed them for services that are used by deaf and hard-of-hearing subscribers.
Those users can place calls by typing messages over the Internet.

Explains USA Today: "The system has been abused by callers overseas who use it to defraud U.S. merchants by ordering goods with stolen credit cards and counterfeit checks. In response, the federal government ordered telecom companies to register their users.

The Justice Department lawsuit AT&T failed to adopt procedures to detect or prevent fraudulent users from registering. The government said the company feared its call volumes would drop once fraudulent users were prevented from calling on the system. The government reimbursed AT&T $1.30 per minute for every call on this system."


AT&T says they followed FCC rules for the services and was justified in getting their reimbursements. The DOJ, on the other hand, says 95 percent of the calls since November 2009 have been made by fraudulent users, many of which are from Nigeria.

Due to the Americans With Disabilities Act, the government must "ensure the availability of telecom relay services allowing the hearing- or speech-impaired in the U.S. to place phone calls." The service in question is Internet Protocol Relay.

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4 user comments

122.3.2012 22:59

Always the victim, never the perpetrator... take your punishment like a man (or the rest of us) & walk it off. Some of us old timers used to take our ass whippings like a red badge of courage. Pussies.


223.3.2012 7:48

Doj going after everyone,screw the DOJ....

323.3.2012 19:08

Originally posted by nbfreak2:
Doj going after everyone,screw the DOJ....
Really, nbfreak2? Really? The government does something worthwhile in a long ass time and you respond by bitching about it? I, for one, am glad that [at least in this minimal fashion] at&t's somewhat questionable practices are brought to light.

@LordRuss
I hear you. None of this "touchy-feely" shi- uh- stuff for me when I was growing up. If you mess up, if you break the rules well then be prepared to pay the consequences. It's actually that simple.
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 23 Mar 2012 @ 19:15

431.3.2012 17:27

Originally posted by LordRuss:
Always the victim, never the perpetrator... take your punishment like a man (or the rest of us) & walk it off. Some of us old timers used to take our ass whippings like a red badge of courage. Pussies.
I agree with you. They always state that they are following the "rules/law/etc" during any event they are being called to task for. If they were good corporate citizens, they would have done the right thing, and prevented their service from being used to defraud U.S. merchants. But because they weren't required to, not to mention that they were getting reimbursed for these calls, they allowed them to go through.

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