Sacramento residents receive mysterious check from AT&T settlement

An AT&T settlement check
An AT&T settlement check

Sacramento-area residents have begun receiving mysterious checks in the mail from a 2010 national class action lawsuit with AT&T.

The lawsuit alleged that AT&T Mobility improperly charged customers certain taxes and surcharges on Internet access for smartphones and other devices. While AT&T denied wrongdoing, it eventually settled the case.

“While we collected only those taxes we believed we were required to collect and submitted them to the appropriate state and local taxing bodies, we were required as part of the settlement to help facilitate, on behalf of our customers, plaintiffs’ efforts to seek refunds from certain of those taxing authorities,” AT&T spokesman Marty Richter said in an email on Tuesday.

He did not know the average payment amount or the number of customers receiving the checks in the Sacramento region. Some of the checks have amounted to cents on the dollar, according to media reports. The checks have been distributed on a state-by-state basis.

The letter doesn’t shed much light on the settlement. “The funds contained in the check are a refund of your taxes that were covered by the settlement. The settlement is final,” the letter reads.

A phone call to a Missouri law firm representing the plaintiffs was not returned.

Richard Chang: 916-321-1018, @RichardYChang