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. In 2014, AT&T settled with the FTC over illegally adding third-party charges to monthly bills, a practice known as cramming. The FTC says 2.5 million current AT&T customers and 300,000 former customers will receive reimbursement for about $31 sometime in the next 75 days. Existing customers will receive the money as a bill credit, while former customers will be written checks. "AT&T received a high volume of complaints related to mobile cramming prior to the FTC and other federal and state agencies stepping in on consumers' behalf," said FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez. "I am pleased that consumers are now being refunded their money and that AT&T has changed its mobile billing practices." Most of the third-party fees involved ringtones, horoscopes, and other messaging-based subscriptions.
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.
FCC to Smack Sprint with $105M Cramming Fine
The FCC is prepared to hit Sprint with a massive fine over alleged cramming practices, according to the Wall Street Journal. The FCC says Sprint played a "willful" role in charging customers for text message alerts, horoscopes, sports scores, ring tones, and other unwanted services.
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.
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.
Sweet, it only took the FTC 26 years to respond to Millions of compaints.
Every single carrier allowed this shady practice for Years and made Millions (if not Billions) from it. Both the FTC and the FCC ignored thousands (probably millions) of complaints about it for 20+ years and Now... Now they want to act like some kind of hero.
Im more curious how money did each state as well as the FTC profit from this "Settlement" than how little the few eligible victims get back. Is it More or Less than the entire payout to the actual victims?
Most people who got caught up in these premium text scams paid more than $31, $19.99 x 2 = $40, which is usually the least time it takes people to figure out what is going on, and often much lo...