AT&T faces a new class action lawsuit claiming that AT&T is overstating and over-billing iPhone and iPad data charges. The class compares AT&T's billing system to a rigged gas pump that charges for a full gallon when, in fact, it only pumps nine-tenths of a gallon into your car's tank.

In the new complaint, named plaintiff Patrick Hendricks claims that AT&T's overbilling "was discovered by an independent consulting firm retained by plaintiff's counsel, which conducted a two-month study of AT&T's billion practices for data usage, and found that AT&T systematically overstate web server traffic by 7 percent to 14 percent, and in some instances by over 300 percent. So, for example, if an iPhone user downloads a 50 KB website, AT&T's bill would typically overstated the traffic as 53.5 KB (a 7 percent overcharge) to as high as 150 KB (a 300 percent overcharge)."

Additionally, the consulting firm discovered that AT&T also bills for phantom data traffic. They set up a test account, disabled push notifications and location services, had no email accounts configured, closed all apps, and didn't touch the iPhone for 10 days. During that time, At&T billed the account for 2,292 KB of data usage.

This is like the rigged gas pump charging you when you never even pulled your car into the station.

If the over-billing is true, then this could have a significant impact on AT&T's bottom line. Granted, there are a lot of people this would never affect; however, those who barely exceed their allotted data cap must pay twice as much for data that month.

Have any of you used more data than what your plan includes and been billed extra? Do you suspect that AT&T overstated your usage and overcharged you?

[Courthouse News Service]