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T-Mobile forks over $90 million to settle ‘unfounded’ cramming charges

Published Dec 19th, 2014 8:30PM EST
T-Mobile Cramming Settlement $90 Million
Image: Asa Mathat | Re/code

Remember how indignant T-Mobile got when it was accused by the Federal Trade Commission of profiting from scams against its customers? Well now T-Mobile has agreed to fork over $90 million to settle the FTC’s charges, which it said were “unfounded and without merit” earlier this year. As part of the settlement, T-Mobile will have to provide full refunds to any affected customers.

RELATED: FTC sues T-Mobile for allegedly hitting customers with hundreds of millions in bogus charges

“Mobile cramming is an issue that has affected millions of American consumers, and I’m pleased that this settlement will put money back in the hands of affected T-Mobile customers,” said FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez. “Consumers should be able to trust that their mobile phone bills reflect the charges they authorized and nothing more.”

To be fair to T-Mobile, this is a problem that affected the entire mobile industry and not just the “Un-carrier.” AT&T, for example, agreed this year to pay a settlement of $105 million to settle bogus cramming charges.

For those who don’t know, “cramming” refers to the practice of billing customers for $9.99 subscriptions to ringtones and premium text message services that they never signed up for. T-Mobile, AT&T and other carriers got to keep a portion of these ill gotten subscription fees, which they now have to pay back.

Prior to joining BGR as News Editor, Brad Reed spent five years covering the wireless industry for Network World. His first smartphone was a BlackBerry but he has since become a loyal Android user.