The cell phone company was accused of an illegal practice called cramming, which implies mobile carriers to charge customers extra on their bills for services they haven’t demanded.
The U.S. Federal Trade Commission has filed a lawsuit against the mobile carrier company, this year in July. T-Mobile has been accused for charging consumers bills with $9.99 per month for mobile text services they didn’t demanded such as horoscope or celebrity gossip updates.
“Consumers should never have to pay for services they have never requested. We will continue to aggressively advocate for families across Michigan and ensure they are treated with the fairness they deserve.” said Michigan Attorney Bill Schuette.
FTC announced that they had reached an agreement with T-Mobile for illegally billing charges. The court has decided that, the company which is the fourth largest mobile company in the United States has to pay up to $90 M in damages. A big part of the amount will be for refunding the affected consumers, plus the fines the company has to pay to the 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia which are rising to $18M and other fines of $4.5M to the Federal Communications Commission.
According to the settlement T-Mobile has to fully refund all the affected customers. The company has to contact all the current and former affected consumers, to inform them about the refunding program and how they can arrive to make a claim.
A T-Mobile spokesman has claimed that the company has already started the refund program and that they have notified customers on the matter. T-Mobile hasn’t given an estimate on the refunds that have been paid up to date.
For the future T-Mobile has to get the costumer’s explicit approval before adding to their bills third party charges. The cell phone company has to indicate very clearly any extra charges on the bills.
Customers have been advised never to ignore any extra charges showing up on their bills, no matter how small it is, as those amounts can add up to bigger ones. Before paying any suspicious charges, customers should consult with their mobile phone provider to make sure they are only paying for services they have authorized.
Image Source: Apple Insider