Have you ever considered your company’s telephone bills as an area for potential cost reductions? Probably not. And if you’re one of the many who have yet to tap into a phone bill audit to determine just how much of your organization’s money is being spent on unnecessary expenses, the recent AT&T billing dispute is a shining example of the potential amount you can regain by seeking IT expense management services.

The Story

In May 2021, US telco giant AT&T agreed to pay $1.5 million to settle a lawsuit filed by the Office of the Attorney General in Washington, D.C. that alleges AT&T “submitted false invoices” that weren’t in compliance with its long-term cell phone and internet services contract with the District of Columbia, which led to overcharging District taxpayers by “millions of dollars.” AT&T did not formally admit to any wrongdoing in the settlement. 

“AT&T concealed its overbilling, and the District’s subsequent overpayments, with billing practices rife with errors, unapplied credits, billing overages and reports that did not meet the rate optimization standards of the contract,” D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine said in the lawsuit filed in District of Columbia Superior Court in February earlier that year.

Five Realizations From AT&T’s Overcharge Slipup 

  1. You could save hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of dollars.
    Those sneaky, little hidden charges and errors could end up costing you thousands, and even millions, if you’re not vigilant about your organization’s IT expenses.  
  2. It’s important to include your carrier bills in your cost management plan.
    The AT&T overcharge disaster could happen to you, as a whopping 80% of telecom bills contain errors that customers never report, or even worse, notice. An extensive analysis of your organization’s phone bills can shed light on whether your provider has violated your service contract.
  3. Don’t always agree with what’s been billed.
    Hidden charges and errors slip through the cracks because most organizations just go ahead and rubber-stamp the bills when they arrive. Most people simply don’t have time to scrutinize their bills when they arrive, nor do they know what to look for.  The good news is there are companies offering phone bill audit services that can help you identify those hidden charges and errors that you wouldn’t have noticed on your own.
  4. Don’t delay putting safeguards in place.
    The District of Columbia government entered into an agreement with AT&T in 2012. The long list of overcharges occurred between that same year back to 2018 — that’s six years — more than half a decade of unjustified charges being paid by DC taxpayers. Imagine the difference it would make if a spend management process was in place.
  5. Don’t be afraid to challenge big telco carriers.
    All it takes is a reputable expense management company that has the resources and experience to correct errors and negotiate refunds on your behalf.


We take pride in freeing companies from unnecessary and hidden charges imposed by telecom providersAt Overcharge Recovery Group, we specialize in IT cost control and dispute management. We take pride in freeing companies from unnecessary and hidden charges imposed by telecom providers that lead to thousands, if not millions, of dollars. Click here to request a no cost, no obligation preliminary assessment.