Just because you hear the other line ringing doesn’t necessarily mean the other line is actually ringing. Especially if the caller is on T-Mobile. It seems that the Un-carrier has been “faking it” when it comes to connecting calls in rural areas, using fake ring tones and connections to make it seem like they were connecting and just failing. That lie is now going to cost T-Mobile $40 million in fines and a whole lot more in criticisms.
T-Mobile is often accused of having spotty coverage in rural areas but the carrier naturally always denies it. The FCC had finally step in and conduct an investigation after receiving no small amount of complaints and suspicions over how T-Mobile callers are unable to connect to those in such areas. The findings of that investigation would be amusing if it weren’t so serious.
T-Mobile was apparently injecting fake ring tones that would make it sound like the person on the other end of the line just isn’t picking up. In truth, however, there was no actual connection made and T-Mobile was just trying to deceive the caller. This is a dangerous practice that could have unintended consequences, especially in emergency situations.
For that stunt, the FCC is fining the carrier $40 million. T-Mobile has agreed to it as well as the requirement to implement a compliance plan to actually address is poor rural connection. The carrier, however, says that the use of fake ringtones was just an oversight and was corrected January last year.
That fine is, of course, just pennies for the company, but its reputation that will get hit the most. T-Mobile loves to portray itself as the hard-hitting, tough-talking, no compromises Un-carrier and its rivals will surely point out this incident as proof of its inability to deliver.
SOURCE: FCC (PDF)