by Brent Dirks
July 1, 2014
In a new complaint, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission is accusing T-Mobile of cramming unauthorized charges on to customers’ bills for years. The commission’s allegations focus on “premium” SMS subscriptions that were never authorized:
The FTC alleges that T-Mobile received anywhere from 35 to 40 percent of the total amount charged to consumers for subscriptions for content such as flirting tips, horoscope information or celebrity gossip that typically cost $9.99 per month. According to the FTC’s complaint, T-Mobile in some cases continued to bill its customers for these services offered by scammers years after becoming aware of signs that the charges were fraudulent.Edith Ramirez, chairwoman of the commission, said the goal is for the carrier to repay all customers for the crammed charges. As early as 2012, a huge number of customers began to complain to the carrier, leading to refund rates as high as 40 percent in a single month. Faced with bills as long as 50 pages, consumers usually were unable to detect the cramming. The FTC said T-Mobile made hundreds of millions of dollars from the unauthorized charges. For other news today, see: Audi, Alfa Romeo, Chrysler And 6 Other Manufacturers Are Now Apple CarPlay Partners, Purchase Window For AppleCare+ Plans For iPhone And iPad Extended To 60 Days, and Apple Launches The Newly Revised 16GB iPod touch Internationally.