After calling the claim “unfounded and without merit”, T-Mobile has agreed to settle with the FTC over charges they ‘crammed’ bills with unnecessary and unwarranted charges. At least $90 million will be returned to consumers who can prove T-Mobile charged them for goods or services without merit. The lawsuit stretches back to July, when the FTC said T-Mobile was guilty of “cramming”, a practice of adding charges to a customer’s monthly bill for ringtones and the like.
In a statement addressing the original claim, T-Mobile CEO John Legere said they’d stopped charging for premium SMS in 2013, and had begun refunding customers ahead of the FTC being interested in the matter.
If you’re worried about digging up old bills online, don’t. In the settlement, T-Mobile agreed to contact affected customers.
In a statement, FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez said “Consumers should be able to trust that their mobile phone bills reflect the charges they authorized and nothing more.” T-Mobile has yet to comment on the settlement.
FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler said “Today’s settlement is a win for consumers who have been victimized by cramming. It means compensation for T-Mobile customers who were fraudulently billed for third-party services that they did not want or authorize. And it goes one step further. Today’s action will also help protect all of T-Mobile’s customers from bogus third-party charges in the future.”
T-Mobile isn’t alone in ‘cramming’ bills with suspect charges. AT&T and Sprint have also fallen under the watchful gaze of the FTC, with Verizon the only one escaping unscathed. It’s not known if Verizon is under investigation or not.