updated 05:55 pm EDT, Thu April 12, 2012
Lawsuit attacks carrier claiming illegal profits
AT&T faces a class action lawsuit with accusations that the network helps cellphone thieves by reactivating stolen phones and telling customers that the calls to and from the handsets cannot be blocked. This comes after an agreement by the FCC and major carriers to form a stolen phone database in an attempt to prevent this happening in future.
The lawsuit filed in California claims AT&T makes “millions of dollars in improper profits” by forcing the customers to buy a new handset and contract, and asserted that the phone network chooses not to stop the fraudaulent activations because “if they take said proper action, their sales of new iPhones and plans will be reduced and diminished.”
The agreed plan from Monday would see the creation of per-carrier databases listing sim and IMEI numbers of handsets reported as stolen and for the carriers to deny access to network services to those phones. Once the data is pooled together in the future, the stolen handsets would cease to work even if a SIM from another network is used, however that can happen in up to two years time.
The plaintiffs, represented by R. Parker White with Poswall, White and Cutler, request AT&T give up the claimed illegal profits and punitive damages.