Home  ›  News  ›

AT&T Fined More than $10 Million in Florida

Article Comments  34  

Mar 3, 2008, 11:16 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

AT&T announced a settlement with the Florida Attorney General's office regarding third-party ringtones that were advertised as free, but were billed to end users. AT&T will reimburse customers who were charged for the ringtones. The ringtones were advertised as free fraudulently by third-party providers. After the ringtones were downloaded, users were charged for the cost of the ringtone by AT&T per its agreements with the third-party providers. In addition to the reimbursements, AT&T has to pay the state of Florida $2.5 million and another $500,000 toward consumer education on safe Internet use. It says it has since put protective measures in place to prevent customers from being mis-led about billing. The Florida Attorney General is also investigating other wireless companies to eliminate fraudulent third-party billing practices.

Associated Press »



This forum is closed.

This forum is closed.


Mar 3, 2008, 1:17 PM


People click on "free Ringtones" Then enter their phone number and don't read the fine print which says they will be billed EVERY MONTH for access.

HOw can this lack of responsibility on the part of a consumer be ATT's fault. Perhaps ATT should not be billing at the whims of a third party. But come on people wake up.

imagine that i access the web and subscribe you to a monthly ringer service for $9.99 do you think its your responsability??

but its just and ex. your right. but do you really always read full agreement??
Hey AvgJoe,
It's called false advertising. And that's illegal. The State of Florida is just protecting citizens.
why isn't the state going after the third party service providers? They are clearly the ones truly at fault for false advertising!! The free ringtones are not being provided by AT&T (oh my god I'm actually defending them? prepare for armageddon eve...
Why do we as a society continue to reward consumer stupidity? This will only translate into higher wireless bills as the cost gets passed on to the consumer! ๐Ÿ˜ก
I agree, I work for a wireless provider and get the same kind of issues with customers coming in and complaining about the same crap. I just tell them to be on the safe side and buy applications from your own cell phone providers website. ๐Ÿ™‚

Mar 5, 2008, 7:17 AM

Wasteful Lawsuit

Why does our court system allow people to sue for such ridiculous things? ATT ahould not have to pay anything to anyone, they did not initiat the charges.

Maybe ATT should have a policy like VZW to protect themselves. VZW requires these companies to have a double opt in policy in order to sign up for premium text.

Mar 3, 2008, 12:04 PM

more information left out by the editor...

from the same site:

http://money.cnn.com/2008/02/29/news/companies/att_f ... »

it also says the following, which phonescoop left out of their reporting of the article.

McCollum said it was easier for the state to go after AT&T and pressure it to better police its contracts with third parties than to go after the actual companies selling the ringtones and other content - because there are so many of them.

"As soon as you close one of them down, another one of them is going to pop up," McCollum said.
This makes no sense to me... sounds like AT&T did nothing wrong, but is somehow being forced to pay for a 3rd party's shady practices?

Honestly, the courts should have thrown this out and forced the state of Florida to go after the 3rd party vendor...
Looks as though the story was basically copied from the AP. Makes it easier to not add anything about what actually happened and to warn users about what caused this issue in the first place.

Mar 3, 2008, 2:27 PM

Ban third party billing

I wonder if AT&T is going to put a stop to third party billing now? Perhaps accounts should come stock with third party billing turned off. If you want third party billing allowed on your account, you should have to state it.
Another option would be a targeted cull of 3rd party direct bill merchants.

Mar 3, 2008, 5:04 PM

Not AT&T's Fault

Fraudulent third party billing should be between the customer and the agency involved.

Moral of this story: Don't get ringers from third party vendors!
Indeed; they usually suck, anyway!

Mar 3, 2008, 12:04 PM


typicle at&t too funny ๐Ÿคฃ
What part? Getting bent over for third party apps? Do other providers auto block third party apps?
Has nothing to do with AT&T, really. My former company had more problems with Verizon along these lines than with AT&T. We also had problems with Sprint.

This whole lawsuit should have been thrown out... the state of Florida is going after the wr...

Mar 3, 2008, 1:48 PM

And why exactly....

Does the State of Florida get paid??? HMM??? Sounds to me like it was the 3rd party vendorz fault.. Way to cost us money... anywayz.. pocket change..
Actually it wasn't the state of Florida to get paid that amount, but the customers who had to pay that money, they were reimbursed. ๐Ÿ™‚

Mar 3, 2008, 11:58 AM


those jerks ... ๐Ÿคจ
Page  1  of 1

Subscribe to news & reviews with RSS Follow @phonescoop on Threads Follow @phonescoop on Mastodon Phone Scoop on Facebook Follow on Instagram



All content Copyright 2001-2024 Phone Factor, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
Content on this site may not be copied or republished without formal permission.