Senate Says Wireless Users Bilked By Bogus Charges
Cellphone users in the U.S. have been fraudulently charged hundreds of millions of dollars, says a report released today by the U.S. Senate Commerce Committee. The Senate is scheduled to hold a hearing on cramming and believes small companies that sell ringtones and other premium text messaging services often fraudulently bill customers who never signed up. The money was collected by the wireless network operators, which keep a cut of the revenue. "Some carrier policies allowed vendors to continue billing consumers even when the vendors had several months of consecutively high consumer refund rates," read part of the report. The FTC recently sued T-Mobile for allowing its customers to be crammed, though T-Mobile vehemently denies the accusation. Earlier this month, a California court shut down six companies that raked in more than $100 million via cramming. The Senate has yet to decide what to do about the matter.
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.
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.
Sprint and Verizon Fined Total of $158M to Settle Cramming Charges
The FCC today said Sprint and Verizon Wireless have agreed to pay $158 million to settle charges that they fraudulently charged customers for third-party services — a tactic referred to as cramming. Specifically, Sprint will pay a total of $68 million, $50 million of which will go back to customers, $14 million of which will go to state governments, and $2 million of which will go to the federal government.
Republicans to Let NSA Keep Spying On Your Calls
Republicans recently introduced a bill in the Senate that will extend the NSA's ability to collect and store phone call data through December 2020. As it stands today, the law (part of the Patriot Act) is slated to expire June 1.
Sprint Allowed to Settle Cramming Charges for $50M
Sprint has settled accusations with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau that it over-billed customers for unwanted services. In May, the FCC fined Sprint $68 million for adding third-party services to customer bills without customer permission — a practice known as cramming.
What fools they must think we are, look over there, its high premium text messaging rates, that is Very Very important in the big scheme of what the Senate is Supposed to do, because there is nothing more important to attend to, all american's don't deserve water. I wonder how much they spent on this 82 page study alone, leading with the lin...