DENVER—The Colorado Attorney General’s Office and T-Mobile USA, Inc., announced today a $90 million settlement agreement to resolve “cramming” charges. This now puts to rest allegations that T-Mobile placed unauthorized charges for third-party services on customer’s wireless phone bills. Of the $90 million at least $67.5 million will go directly to consumers who were victims.
“Today’s settlement with T-Mobile, coupled with our October $105 million settlement with AT&T, should send a strong warning to cell phone companies that this type of anti-consumer practice will not be tolerated,” said Colorado Attorney General John Suthers. “Companies should also take heed that we will not accept this as the cost of doing business.”
Consumers who were crammed complained about recurring monthly charges for premium text message subscription services like horoscopes, trivia, and sports scores, that they never requested.
The settlement also requires that T-Mobile:
• 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;
• provide information to customers about blocking third-party charges, and
• display third-party charges in a dedicated section of consumers’ mobile phone bills that clearly distinguishes them from T-Mobile’s other charges.
The Federal Trade Commission, the Federal Communications Commission, and the attorneys general of the other 49 states and the District of Columbia also announced settlements with T-Mobile today. T-Mobile also agreed to pay $18 million to the Attorneys General and $4.5 million to the Federal Communications Commission.
Consumers may get additional information and submit refund claims by visiting www.t-mobilerefund.com. Consumers who have questions should call the refund program administrator at (855) 382-6403.
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