AT&T Billing Error Leaves Municipalities on the Hook

AT&TSometimes it’s not the telcos that suffer most for their mistakes. This is a lesson the City of Springfield, Ill. is learning the hard way after it was ordered to repay $273,000 thanks to an AT&T billing error.

The fallout is just one stemming from a huge AT&T federal telecommunications tax error, where the company overcharged customers on data plans from November 2005 to September 2010. A class action settlement has called for AT&T to refund the money to users, meaning governments that already received the funding will have to return it.

“It was a letter saying a settlement was negotiated with AT&T and oh, by the way, you owe $273,000 in overpayments in taxes and we’re going to start collecting that,” Springfield director of budget and management Bill McCarty was quoted as saying.

It also means those same governments will face a funding shortfall for projected revenues already included in their budgets. While it is not expected to do major damage in Springfield – the city may end up short in its budget surplus – there is no doubt other areas will be harder hit.

*Source: ABC News