AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) faces a laws suit for allegedly inflating the number of subscribers for DirecTV Now y creating fake users. The company manipulated the numbers of the streaming service now AT&T TV in an attempt to make the service appealing to investors when, in a real sense, it was struggling with financial and severe technical challenges.
AT&T accused of illegally charging customers
The lawsuit states that the management carried the scheme by encouraging employees to add subscription fees to DirectTV user accounts without their consent or knowledge. One way they did so is by using fake email addresses and tacking customer’s phone number up to three accounts and charging them. Even subscribers who had just signed up for three trials saw their credit cards run three times.
Employees were under instruction to convert activation fees that subscribers pay to upgrade their phones into AT&T TV subscription by waving the fee and still charging subscribers anyway. In some instances, the company charged customers for subscriptions even when the customer indicated they didn’t want to opt-in. Sometimes they billed customers for DirecTV Now subscription and informed them that they are charging for a different thing. On several occasions, the company informed customers that DirecTV Now was part of a package when they received extra monthly fee charges.
Scheme of inflating DirecTV Now subscribers exposed with declining numbers
AT&T The petitioners state that pressure and strong-arm tactics from the management of the company pushed employees to put DirecTV Now and its monthly subscription into customers without their consent. The suit says that despite the company executives praising the DirecTV segment in public, it was all a mirage that grounded in fraud and deception.
In a statement, the company has stated that it will fight the allegations in court and have said that they are baseless claims. The lawsuit comes at a time when the company has lost a significant number of AT&T subscribers. In the first two quarters of this year, the company has lost around 250,000 subscribers.