A New York class action charges that Sprint and ASC Telecom victimized consumers through a "fat fingers" scheme. The companies allegedly set up numerous toll-free numbers that differ by only one digit from their competitors' numbers.
Thus, customers trying to call AT&T at 1-800-CALL-ATT would get Sprint if they accidentally dialed 1-800-CELL-ATT.
Sprint and ASC Telecom charge their accidental callers rates vastly greater than what the callers' intended providers would have charged them, the suit argues.
The suit alleges the practice amounts to fraud and violates New York's prohibitions on deceptive actions.
An appeals court upheld the suit's class action certification but agreed with a lower court that it should not be a nationwide class action.
New York's General Business Law "requires the deceptive transaction to have occurred in New York, leaving potential class members from outside the state, who were victimized by defendants' practices, with no viable claim under the statute," the appeals court ruled.