New York (August 02, 2010) -- A group of consumers has slapped AT&T Operations Inc. with a putative, nationwide breach of contract and fraud class action claiming the telecommunications giant's high-speed data delivery service is systematically defective and causes Internet, phone and television connectivity problems.
More than 2 million homes use AT&T's Very High Bit-rate DSL technology, according to the complaint, which the company markets and sells under the brand name U-Verse. The product is intended to provide very high Internet speeds, clear Voice Over Internet Protocol telephony, and the capacity to watch and record multiple channels at once on different TV sets, according to the complaint.
The lead plaintiffs, who first subscribed to U-Verse between 2008 and 2010, say the service provides none of the advertised features and that they've instead experienced painfully slow Internet connections, phone call interference and frame-freezing and pixelization of movies and television channels.
“U-verse — hyped and overpromoted as a technological advance — fails of its essential purpose, in that its defective design and inferior infrastructure, built on old copper wiring, rendered it obsolete before it ever began,” the class says in its complaint.
If certified, Friday's suit would not be the only consumer class action AT&T has on its plate. In July, a federal judge certified a class in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California accusing AT&T Mobility LLC and Apple Inc. of monopolizing the aftermarket for iPhone voice and data services.
In the U-Verse suit, the putative class is represented by Denney & Barrett PC.
The case is Hancock et al. v. American Telephone and Telegraph Co. Inc. et al., case number 5:10-cv-00822, in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma.