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AT&T Mobility to Pay $105 Million in for ‘Cramming’ Customers’ Bills

DENVER—Colorado Attorney General John W. Suthers announced today a settlement with AT&T Mobility LLC to resolve allegations that AT&T Mobility placed unauthorized charges for third-party services on consumers’ mobile telephone bills, a practice known as “cramming.” Consumers who were crammed often complain about recurring monthly charges for premium text message subscription services (e.g. horoscopes, trivia, and sports scores) that they never requested. AT&T Mobility will pay a total of $105 million to resolve all of the allegations, $80 million of which will be used to pay refunds to victimized consumers.

“After customers complained to our Consumer Protection Section, we aligned with our national colleagues to stop AT&T’s illegal conduct,” said Attorney General John Suthers. “In addition to the refunds due to AT&T Mobility customers, the company must now ask customers’ permission upfront, not after the billable fact, before charging them for some services.”
Consumers may submit claims under the AT&T Mobility cramming refund program administered by the Federal Trade Commission by visiting If consumers are unsure about whether they are eligible for a refund, they can visit the claims website or contact the Claims Administrator at 1-877-819-9692.
The settlement also requires that AT&T Mobility:
  • stay out of the commercial premium text messaging business,
  • obtain consumers’ express consent before billing them for third-party charges,
  • provide a full refund or credit to consumers who are billed for unauthorized third-party charges at any time after this settlement,
  • provide information to customers about blocking third-party charges, and
  • display third-party charges in a dedicated section of consumers’ mobile phone bills, where they are clearly distinguished from AT&T Mobility’s charges.
The Federal Trade Commission, the Federal Communications Commission, and the Attorneys General of all 50 states and the District of Columbia announced settlements with AT&T Mobility yesterday. Of the $105 million, AT&T Mobility also agreed to pay $20 million to the attorneys general to reimburse legal expenses and $5 million to the Federal Communications Commission.
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