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Nextel loses class-action lawsuit for overcharging, poor service

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Nextel has lost a years-long battle against Profeco. Photo: Courtesy

Nextel has lost a battle against Mexico’s consumer watchdog, Profeco, which accused the local unit of U.S. telecommunications giant AT&T of undue charges and poor service.

The class-action suit began in 2013, when Profeco sued Nextel, which was acquired by AT&T in 2015. Nextel changed rates without informing customers and continued to charge them for services that had been canceled, Profeco said. The court agreed.

Nextel advertised 4G technology though “it was proven in court the technology provided was inferior to what was advertised, underscoring the use of abusive and false advertising to prompt consumers into mistakenly acquiring their services,” Profeco said in a statement.

Mexico’s third-largest mobile service provider “must pay damages to its affected consumers, plus 20% compensation and an additional 9% annual legal interest, for the various undue charges.” But it was not disclosed how much Nextel will have to pay to satisfy the suit.

The ruling is final because Mexico’s Supreme Court already rejected a prior appeal.

AT&T pointed out that the wrongdoing occurred before the U.S. conglomerate acquired Nextel.

“These trials began well before AT&T entered the market, as part of a class action suit presented against all wireless companies in Mexico, including Nextel, which we acquired in 2015,” AT&T said in a statement. “We continue working to serve our customers in better ways.”

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