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The Garcia Law Firm Files Class Action Against AT&T and Cingular

Garcia & Artigliere

The Garcia Law Firm has filed a nationwide class action against giants Plaintiff AT&T Wireless Services, Inc. and Cingular based on conduct related to the recent acquisition of AT&T Wireless by Cingular Wireless Corporation. The lawsuit alleges that following their acquisition of AT&T Wireless in 2004, Cingular deliberately schemed to dismantle the existing AT&T Wireless network so as to diminish and degrade the service provided to AT&T Wireless customers while unfairly increasing costs to the consumer.

The lawsuit further alleges that Cingular undertook these actions despite a massive public marketing campaign promising that the merger would be seamless for AT&T Wireless customers. Cingular undertook these actions in an effort to induce AT&T Wireless customers into “transferring” from their AT&T Wireless plan to a Cingular plan. The service contracts offered by Cingular provided less favorable terms than the customers’ previous contracts with AT&T Wireless. Cingular also induced AT&T Wireless subscribers to purchase new Cingular handsets and caused customers to incur significant additional charges including, inter alia, an $18 “transfer” or “upgrade” fee as well as an $18 fee for the SIM chip which enables the Cingular handset to operate. Additionally, Cingular misrepresented to AT&T Wireless customers that they would continue to enjoy the benefits of their current phones, rate plans, and features, without any service interruption. Consequently, while Cingular is profiting from prior AT&T Wireless customers who have “transferred,” existing AT&T Wireless subscribers who have not “transferred” to Cingular have suffered, and continue to suffer, diminished service in the form of dropped calls as well as poor or no reception in areas where they previously received adequate reception. Plaintiff Kelly Petersen asserts claims for breach of contract and breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing, unjust enrichment/common law restitution, violations of various states’ unfair and deceptive acts and practices statutes.

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