AAPL Stock: 117.81 ( -0.22 )

Printed from

Department of Justice sues AT&T over IP Relay billing

updated 02:55 pm EDT, Thu March 22, 2012

AT&T sued for wrongly billing millions to FCC

The US Department of Justice has filed a lawsuit against carrier AT&T for allegedly wrongly billing the government for millions of dollars. The charges were for IP Relay phone calls, which is a text-based communications service for hearing-impaired people. While the users don't need to pay, the FCC is charged $1.30 per minute by carriers.

IP Relays involve typing a message over the Internet, which is then relayed by communications assistants employed by carriers, such as AT&T. Rampant fraud forced the FCC to introduce laws in 2009 that required that carriers validate a user's name and mailing address. In the lawsuit, the DoJ maintains AT&T didn't check that users were within the US. The invoices were for international users, who aren't eligible to use the service. As much as 95 percent of the billings were such ineligible calls.

The matter was revealed by an employee of the AT&T IP Relay call center

AT&T objected to the lawsuit, arguing that abuse was difficult or impossible to avoid. "AT&T has followed the FCC's rules for providing IP Relay services for disabled customers and for seeking reimbursement for those services," it said in a statement to Electronista. "As the FCC is aware, it is always possible for an individual to misuse IP Relay services, just as someone can misuse the postal system or an email account, but FCC rules require that we complete all calls by customers who identify themselves as disabled. "[via MobileBurn]

by MacNN Staff



Login Here

Not a member of the MacNN forums? Register now for free.


Network Headlines

Follow us on Facebook


Most Popular


Recent Reviews

Ultimate Ears Megaboom Bluetooth Speaker

Ultimate Ears (now owned by Logitech) has found great success in the marketplace with its "Boom" series of Bluetooth speakers, a mod ...

Kinivo URBN Premium Bluetooth Headphones

We love music, and we're willing to bet that you do, too. If you're like us, you probably spend a good portion of your time wearing ...

Jamstik+ MIDI Controller

For a long time the MIDI world has been dominated by keyboard-inspired controllers. Times are changing however, and we are slowly star ...


Most Commented