FTC Drops Cram-Hammer On T-Mobile
The Federal Trade Commission today filed a complaint regarding T-Mobile's billing practices for premium third-party services. The FTC alleges that T-Mobile made millions of dollars by allowing companies to tack high monthly fees onto its customers' bills, while often pocketing 30% to 40% of those fees. The practice is often referred to as cramming. The FTC alleges that T-Mobile knew about potential fraudulent charges made against its customers in 2012, but didn't begin to take action until 2013. The complaint suggests T-Mobile often hid third-party charges in lengthy and difficult-to-understand monthly bills. The FTC also believes T-Mobile didn't provide customers with full refunds, flat-out refused to refund some customers, and in some cases told customers to recoup the charges directly from the scammers - without providing the pertinent contact details. "It's wrong for a company like T-Mobile to profit from scams against its customers when there were clear warning signs the charges it was imposing were fraudulent" said FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez. "The FTC's goal is to ensure that T-Mobile repays all its customers for these crammed charges." The FTC wants a court order to permanently prevent T-Mobile from engaging in mobile cramming, to obtain refunds for consumers, and to relieve T-Mobile of its ill-gotten gains. The FTC's story differs significant from the one told by T-Mobile. Late last year, the company said it tried to police premium SMS services, but too many of its partners were breaking the rules. T-Mobile discontinued premium SMS services across its network in late 2013, and agreed to refund some customers. T-Mobile recently reminded customers to check their eligibility for those refunds. T-Mobile's efforts on behalf of its customers appear not to have dissuaded the FTC from taking its own action.
FTC to Reimburse AT&T Customers $88M In Cramming Fees
The U.S. Federal Trade Commission today laid out plans to return some $88 million in cash to wronged AT&T customers.
T-Mobile Settles FCC Cramming Charges for $90 Million
T-Mobile today agreed to pay the FTC and FCC a total of $90 million to settle accusations that the company was complicit in allowing third-parties to charge customers for unwanted services. An FTC and FCC investigation found T-Mobile guilty of breaking the law by "engaging in an unjust and unreasonable practice of billing consumers for products or services they had not authorized; and failing to provide a brief, clear, non-misleading, plain language description of the third-party charges on the telephone bills sent to consumers." A minimum of $67.5 million of the fine will be set aside to repay customers who claim they were overcharged.
Sprint Agrees to Settle FTC Charges for $2.95M
Sprint will pay the Federal Trade Commission a fine of $2.95 million for failing to properly disclose extra monthly fees billed to customers with lower credit scores. Between November 2013 and June 2014, Sprint enrolled customers with inferior credit scores in the Account Spending Limit (ASL) program — and added a $7.99 monthly fee on top of their standard service charges.
FTC Nails TracFone for $40M Over False Advertising
TracFone has agreed to pay customers $40 million to reimburse them for what the FTC labeled as deceptive advertising. From 2009 to 2013, TracFone advertised "unlimited data" plans for $45 per month.
For filing a complaint in 2014 over things which happened in 2012 and T-Mobile announced they would refund in 2013. And which, for all we know, other carriers are still doing.
Um, no. AT&T, Sprint along with ...
..lengthy and difficult-to-understand monthly bills..
I can't for the life of me figure out how this could be construed as lengthy or difficult to understand. They were printed on the bills in plain english, the charge, a description of it, and the cost associated with it. It's one of the easiest things to find on any T-Mobile bill.