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.
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“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.