Cricket Wireless Class Action Update On Alleged False Claims

Federal Judge certified a class action lawsuit alleging that Cricket Wireless deceived consumers by saying it could provide unlimited 4G coverage to areas where 4G was unavailable.

U.S. District Judge William Alsup approved the class action lawsuit in California federal courts. This rejected Cricket Wireless’ claim that the class members had not had a consistent experience with the company’s wireless service. Law360 reports.

“In this instance, it would be acceptable for plaintiffs to try to prove that although not everyone relied upon Cricket’s representations on their fraudulent scheme theory, a critical mass relied upon Cricket’s representations regarding 4G to artificially support an artificially supported higher price for both phones plans and phones,” wrote Alsup.

“All customers, therefore, paid more because they bought 4G phones and plans that were supposedly worth more than what they actually were.”

The class-action lawsuit claims that Cricket Wireless plans for 4G enabled phones and plans in areas without 4G coverage were unfairly overpriced to consumers. Law360 reports that Cricket Wireless calls the scheme “4G in Non-4G Markets” and it is estimated to have cost hundreds of thousands of consumers millions of dollars.

Alsup rejected the consumer claims under California’s Consumer Legal Remedies Act but allowed racketeer-influenced and corrupt organizations Act claims to be maintained. Alsup’s latest ruling removed the class action lawsuit from consumers who were bound to arbitration agreements.

Cricket Wireless is not the first to face legal action. AT&T acquired Cricket Wireless in 2014. The company settled claims regarding 4G false advertising in 2015.

In July, the Maryland Attorney General’s Office ordered AT&T to pay $3.25million to customers who bought prepaid phones from Cricket Wireless. The companies were alleged to have known that these phones would cease to work after their merger.

Did you ever buy a 4G phone only to discover that you are not in an area with 4G? Please share your experiences with us in the comments section.

Jonathan Taylor, Gupta Wessler PLLC, and Tyler W. Hudson, Wagstaff & Cartmell are the consumers’ representatives.

Cricket Wireless is represented in Mayer Brown LLP by Matthew D. Ingber.

Thomas et. al. are the Cricket Racketeering Class Action Lawsuit. v. Cricket Wireless LLC et al., Case No. 3:19-cv-04270, in U.S. District Court of the Northern District of California

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