January 4, 2005
Jafferson City, Mo. — Attorney General Jay Nixon said today AT&T Corp. will pay $50,000 to the state of Missouri for improperly billing more than 29,000 consumers. Those Missourians who paid the improper charge will receive or already have received refunds or credits under an agreement obtained by Nixon.
Beginning in January 2004, AT&T instituted a "monthly recurring charge" or a base charge of $3.95 per month for low-usage customers. AT&T mistakenly sent bills to former customers and some high-usage customers who would have been exempt from the charge.
Approximately 1 million people nationwide were mistakenly billed, including 29,165 in Missouri. The improper billings in Missouri amounted to $285,147, Nixon said, although not everyone improperly billed paid the charges. The company attributed the billing mistakes primarily to computer coding and system errors.
"No matter how these billings occurred, they amounted to several millions of dollars to consumers across the country," Nixon said. "AT&T needs to be held accountable to ensure that nothing like this happens again and that any consumers who paid charges they shouldn't have are made whole."
The agreement, which will be filed in Cole County Circuit Court, requires AT&T to: