FTC accuses T-Mobile of intentionally lying to customers, excessive charges

July 1, 2014
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ftcbuilding-e1354748196126 TheNextWeb

Several weeks ago, we discussed T-Mobile proudly announcing that they would no longer allow third-parties to bill customers for Premium SMS services and wanted to be “proactive” in protecting customers. We also noted that it was rather idiotic for T-Mobile to make this claim after they made millions off these services.

Last year, the Federal Trade Commission finally realized what was going on and started looking into this service.

“The concept of ‘cramming’ charges on to phone bills is a not a new one,” said FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez. “As more and more consumers move to mobile phones, scammers have adapted to this new technology, and the Commission will continue its efforts to protect consumers from their unlawful practices.” - FTC.gov

14f406213239756da81c2deda9fc7003 DSLReports

Now, the FTC is taking action as they filed a complaint today alleging that T-Mobile benefitted from these services to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars. Specifically, the FTC alleges that T-Mobile received anywhere from 35 to 40 percent of the total amount charged to consumers.

In some cases, T-Mobile continued billing customers even AFTER becoming aware that the charges were fraudulent, dating back to 2012. T-Mobile is alleged to have refused refunds to some customers, offering only partial refunds of two months’ worth of the charges to others, and in other cases instructed consumers to seek refunds directly from the scammers – without providing accurate contact information to do so.

“It’s wrong for a company like T-Mobile to profit from scams against its customers when there were clear warning signs the charges it was imposing were fraudulent. The FTC’s goal is to ensure that T-Mobile repays all its customers for these crammed charges.” - FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez

Charges DSLReports

Another part of the complaints centers around T-Mobile INTENTIONALLY confusing customers with long bills and complicated terms for the premium services.

After looking past a “Summary” section as well as an “Account Service Detail” section, both of which described “Usage Charges” but did not itemize those charges, a consumer might then reach the section labeled “Premium Services,” where the crammed items would be listed. - TMONews

Comments

  • http://foreverpurple.com/ Daethian

    So why use AT&T in the graphics? Not that they don’t suck the high hard one too.

    • http://www.androidauthority.com/author/wneilsonjr/ William Neilson Jr.

      I was simply trying to give a cramming example.

      AT&T and Verizon are just as guilty as T-Mobile in this

      • S Prime

        Then why not point that out in your article?

        • http://www.androidauthority.com/author/wneilsonjr/ William Neilson Jr.

          As stated in the story, I wrote about this exact issue several weeks ago and mentioned all three carriers as being involved.

          Reading helps

          • Djsjfj

            Please just do us all a favor and stop writing articles please :)

  • roger

    Everyone knows the FTC is corrupt. Wonder which company payed them off to say this, my money is on Verizon. The uncarrier is being targeted by others for changing how the system goes!

    • John Grabb

      Google is more corrupt than the the FTC or t mobile

    • Mur

      Who knows that the FTC is corrupt? If you have any evidence make a call to the FBI or GAO and they’ll take care of it :).

      • Richard Gao

        You called?

    • Arturo Raygoza

      Riiiight??? You should hear the smear campaign on talk radio by sellout hosts, screaming that T-Mobile should be shut down. Omg

  • Zachary Vincent Manning

    Somehow I knew this t mobile guy was a rat bastard

    • MasterMuffin

      I said the same. They were just good at hiding their dark side, just like Palpatine :nerdreference:

      • Zachary Vincent Manning

        He makes a lot of nasty faces in his pictures, kinda like how palpatine is so ugly. They could almost be twins

        • MasterMuffin

          But who’s Anakin? :D

          • Zachary Vincent Manning

            uhm maybe the bald amazon guy, since no one likes his new phone lolol. Kinda like how no one liked anakin because the actor was so bad

  • HothTron

    I’m not seeing anything weird on mine http://imgur.com/hKB0Qe3

  • John Grabb

    John Legere the savior of android fan boys is such’…….an idiot