Home » AT&T »Consumer News »Public Policy & Gov't »Video » Currently Reading:

AT&T Ripped Off Hamilton County (Tenn.) 911 By “Intentionally Undercollecting” Fees, New Suit Alleges

Phillip Dampier November 17, 2011 AT&T, Consumer News, Public Policy & Gov't, Video No Comments
The Hamilton County’s Emergency Communications District is suing AT&T of Tennessee for what it says was an intentional decision to under-report and under-charge customers the monthly $1-3 911 fee levied on residential and commercial phone lines.  Hamilton County, which includes the city of Chattanooga, Tenn., ironically discovered the “intentional under-collection” of the mandatory 911 fees when it received a proposal from the phone company to provide telephone service to the county at a lower rate than competitors could offer, in part because AT&T offered to discount or eliminate the 911 surcharges.The county 911 agency, through its lawsuit, suggests most of the under-reporting is taking place with business customers who are using AT&T’s multiplexed Centrex phone service.  AT&T provides up to 23 voice phone lines over a single circuit, but only charges 911 fees on a single line, the lawsuit alleges.

“They were able to do what they call bundling,” ECD Executive Director John Stuermer told WRCB-TV. “Technology allows multiple phone lines over a single pair of wires, [but] we’re not getting the funding for the lines as we should have.”

Hamilton County ECD wants a U.S. District Court to fine AT&T $10,000 for each falsified financial report it has filed since 2001. Collectively, that could amount to a fine up to $1.33 million.

The lawsuit demands that AT&T open access to its billing files for a county investigation.

AT&T won’t comment on the lawsuit, but it isn’t the first time the phone company has faced scrutiny for similar under-collection of 911 fees. In 2006, the 911 district for Madison County, Ala., sued AT&T’s predecessor BellSouth for the same thing. The company settled that lawsuit privately in 2009.

http://www.phillipdampier.com/video/WRCB Chattanooga Hamilton County sues ATT for 911 fees 11-15-11.mp4

WRCB in Chattanooga reports Hamilton County 911 may not be getting the funding it needs because AT&T isn’t passing along what it owes in 911 surcharges.  (3 minutes)

Search This Site:

Contributions:

Recent Comments:

  • David: I mostly read your blog to hear about item #4. I'm a Frontier customer and their service speed is really poor. I hope that they someday get around to ...
  • Christopher G.: I used to work in the industry for multiple companies. We are the richest country yet one of the lower tiers of speed for internet. Why? Internet c...
  • Joe V: Keep it up Phil. I just wrote a piece to Frontline PBS about the state of broadband duopolies in this country. I hope they read and respond....
  • Dawsonfiberhood: Thanks for the hard work, Phillip. I look forward to each new article you write!...
  • Duncan: Cut the cord today, and used this blog post as inspiration. TWC jacked my bill from $140 to $180, and that was the final straw. Goodbye, TWC, but ...
  • Jimmy Bae: That really isn't the proper use of the term ennui. You can't sooth someone's extreme boredom and disinterest....
  • Martha: What if you say you are going to cancel your cable service for a streaming service, such as Roku or SlingTV? Will they likely to come back with an off...
  • Paul Houle: @Lee, it is worse than that. It is not that they cannot afford to give you fiber, it is that they can already make so much money selling you infe...
  • Lee: Frontier will not deliver that 5 Mbps to me. It will not matter what modem I have or what they have in the dslam located at the school. The copper lin...
  • Paul Houle: @Joe, don't buy the hype over G.Fast. Instead of "Fiber to the Press Release" it is just "Copper to the Press Release" G. Fast is a great techn...
  • Joe V: Here's the irony : I watched the Frontier go in front of California politicians broadcast play out and two things that got underneath my skin : I...
  • Matt: It won't increase it any more than what were paying for(1.5 Mbps) right?...

Your Account: