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Lawsuit alleges Project Fi charges customers for Wi-Fi use

A man has filed a lawsuit against Project Fi alleging that he was charged for non-cellular data use, resulting in hefty overage fees.

Published onFebruary 7, 2018

  • A man is suing Project Fi for overcharging him for cellular data service.
  • The lawsuit alleges that Project Fi tracks all data used by the handset, and charged him even when he was on Wi-Fi.
  • Project Fi is Google’s MVNO that only works on certain devices.

Google’s Project Fi is a terrific concept. For $20 a month you get unlimited calls and texts, and each gigabyte of data you use is only $10. The data service comes via Sprint, T-Mobile, and U.S. Cellular, making Project Fi a sort of super MVNO.

Unfortunately, a Project Fi customer by the name of Gordon Beecher didn’t have an outstanding experience with the company. Mr. Beecher filed a lawsuit against Project Fi alleging that he was charged for Wi-Fi data on top of cellular data, resulting in $200 in overage fees over his first three months with the company.

The complaint, filed in San Jose, CA, calls for an elevation to class action status, which has yet to be approved.

According to Mr. Beecher, Project Fi is not charging customers solely on the cellular data they use. Mr. Beecher alleges that the company tracks the total data transferred through the handset, meaning that even when Mr. Beecher was at home connected to Wi-Fi his data usage was monitored.

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Allegedly, Project Fi miscalculated how much data was on Wi-Fi and how much was via cell towers and overcharged Mr. Beecher. The suit claims that other customers have reported similar problems on both Reddit and the Project Fi official forums.

Google, via Project Fi, is charged in the lawsuit with unfair business practices, false advertising, and breach of contract. Google has not yet made a statement on the complaint.

Launching in April 2015, Project Fi is Google’s first step into providing telecommunication services. At first an invite-only product available exclusively to Nexus 6 owners, the service was eventually opened to anyone, provided they owned specific devices with the necessary hardware that enables the handset to switch freely between the different carriers.

Since Sprint is a CDMA carrier and T-Mobile is a GSM carrier, not every smartphone can bounce from one to the other seamlessly. As of right now, the only phones that work with Project Fi are the Moto X4, the entire Google Pixel line, the Nexus 6, the Nexus 6P, and the Nexus 5X.

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