T-Mobile will pay $90 million to settle "cramming" charges
U.S. carrier T-Mobile has settled charges levied by the FTC and FCC that they charged customers for unwanted services, a settlement that comes to the tune of at least $90 million. The practice, known as "cramming", stemmed from third-party services from "premium SMS" providers for wallpapers, ringtones, horoscopes, celebrity gossip, and more.
Said FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler:
The $90 million penalty will be paid as restitution by T-Mobile. The charge for such services ranged up to $14/month, and was billed as non-descriptive strings of numbers and letters, obscuring what it was that the user was actually paying for. As you can imagine, the unknowing customer could see their bill seriously jacked up as a result.
T-Mobile stopped the practice back in 2013 and has agreed to honor all claims for refunds from customers. Of that $90 million, $18 million will go to the 50 US states (plus DC) participating in the settlement, and $4.5 million to the US Treasury. The rest is dedicated to resolving customer claims, though T-Mobile will pay more than that if necessary to refund all customers.
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Derek Kessler is Special Projects Manager for Mobile Nations. He's been writing about tech since 2009, has far more phones than is considered humane, still carries a torch for Palm, and got a Tesla because it was the biggest gadget he could find. You can follow him on Twitter at @derekakessler.
Usually they charge b/s @ will using their little monopolies w/o worries as they seem to have good lobbyists in D.C. Kind of hard to see the diff between lobbying and extortion though. Maybe Pete Rose should have said he was lobbying vs betting.