A lawsuit filed in California federal court claims AT&T "systematically" overcharged iPhone and iPad owners by inflating the amount of data downloaded by each customer and tacking on "phantom traffic" to the month-long tally. The lawsuit was filed by Patrick Hendricks who asserts AT&T charged him a $15 overage fee that was the result of this artificially inflated data. Hendricks cites AT&T's alleged practice of overestimating data traffic by as much as 300 percent in what is described as "a rigged gas pump that charges for a full gallon when it pumps only nine-tenths of a gallon into your car's tank."
The complaint also mentions phantom data charges that were added to his bill, but never started or experienced by Hendricks. The complainant hired a private firm to track his data usage on AT&T, and they reported usage of 2.2 MB during a week when the iPhone had all push notifications turned off, all location-based services turned off, no active applications running and no email account setup on the handset. Hendricks is seeking class action status on the complaint and is asking for restitution and class damages. AT&T responded by saying it would vigorously fight the lawsuit.