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FTC says T-Mobile is Scamming Customers

 
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    Posted: Jul 01 2014 at 7:12pm
FTC: T-Mobile Took Hundreds of Millions of Bogus Charges on Phone Bills

FTC: T-Mobile Took Hundreds of Millions of Bogus Charges on Phone Bills


Kate Knibbs




FTC: T-Mobile Took Hundreds of Millions of Bogus Charges on Phone Bills

The Federal Trade Commission has accused T-Mobile of placing hundreds of millions of dollars of bogus charges onto its customers' phone bills.

The FTC alleges T-Mobile engaged in a shady practice known as "third party billing," or "cramming." Customers would get charged from shifty "premium texting" third party services, like the kinds that send horoscopes or dating tips, even when they'd never authorized the fees. T-Mobile allegedly kept a hefty chunk of these fake charges.

In a process known as "third-party billing," a phone company places charges on a consumer's bill for services offered by another company, often receiving a substantial percentage of the amount charged. When the charges are placed on the bill without the consumer's authorization, it is known as "cramming."

This Is A Big Deal

These are huge accusations: The FTC alleges that T-Mobile has taken in hundreds of millions of dollars from tricking customers. They accuse the network of sometimes charging customers for services that ended up getting refunded at a rate of 40 percent a month. The reason why these refunds were coming in fast and furious? According to the FTC, because the customers had never agreed to the charges. That means the 60 percent who didn't ask for a refund overpaid T-Mobile. T-Mobile's full phone bills can be around 50 pages long, and the FTC says these phony charges are hard to find.

The FTC also alleges that, in some cases, T-Mobile refused refunds to people who figured out that they were getting scammed.

"It's wrong for a company like T-Mobile to profit from scams against its customers when there were clear warning signs the charges it was imposing were fraudulent," FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez said in a statement. "The FTC's goal is to ensure that T-Mobile repays all its customers for these crammed charges."

"We did engage with settlement negotiations with T-Mobile but we were not able to reach a settlement," FTC Consumer Protection Director Jessica Rich said during a conference call about the lawsuit.

The FTC is seeking refunds for consumers, but have not reached a specific settlement amount. The FCC has also launched a separate inquiry.

I Think I'm Getting Ripped Off - What Should I Do?

If you think you've been defrauded by T-Mobile, it's still unclear how exactly the carrier will make amends and dole out refunds if it is found guilty.

"We definitely want consumers to get refund but we have not determined how they will get them," Rich said.

"Consumers should read their bills closely and quickly contact their carriers if they see any unauthorized charges," she said. She also recommended that consumers block all third-party charges.

T-Mobile customer Kevin Rivers told Gizmodo his bills are no longer available on the company website, so you may have to wait to comb through your bill if this is a widespread issue.

Not on T-Mobile? Don't Look So Smug: You May Not Be Safe.

Rich didn't come out and say that other carriers were up to the same shenaBrothans. But she definitely didn't deny that the FTC has knowledge about cramming practices from other providers. Even if you use Sprint or another carrier, this is a good time to actually read through your whole bill.

We've asked T-Mobile to comment on the allegations and will update if we hear back. [FTC]

http://gizmodo.com/the-ftc-just-accused-t-mobile-of-putting-fake-charges-o-1598656528

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callmeDEva View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote callmeDEva Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jul 01 2014 at 7:54pm
Exactly why I left my contract. Those fckers. I had bought a new phone, returned it, and got another one. Yet they were still charging me the data plan specific for the first phone.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Up&Out39 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jul 01 2014 at 8:04pm
I'm about to check my bill
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Blac1Chyna Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jul 01 2014 at 8:07pm
will there be a class action suit??
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote aNgElIc*SoUl Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jul 01 2014 at 11:28pm
I'm sure they all do this. I know for a fact Sprint does with they never having a damn signal asses
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote rickysrose Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jul 01 2014 at 11:32pm
what the *?!@!$)$?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Fcgriffin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jul 01 2014 at 11:38pm
Sprint with their $30 "fees". I hate them so much I call once a month just to bitch them out.
Originally posted by aNgElIc*SoUl aNgElIc*SoUl wrote:

I'm sure they all do this. I know for a fact Sprint does with they never having a damn signal asses
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote aNgElIc*SoUl Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jul 01 2014 at 11:53pm
Originally posted by Fcgriffin Fcgriffin wrote:

Sprint with their $30 "fees". I hate them so much I call once a month just to bitch them out.
Originally posted by aNgElIc*SoUl aNgElIc*SoUl wrote:

I'm sure they all do this. I know for a fact Sprint does with they never having a damn signal asses


They sucked me in when I was 17, they say I still owe them money.....see if they get that shyt. I moved up to Afee&fee now, but at least I always have service.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote newdiva1 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jul 01 2014 at 11:55pm
is this why they offering to pay the fee to break your contract with your current carrier and come over?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote noneyons Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jul 02 2014 at 12:01am
didn't read but mobile contracts are a status symbol. there are far better options available. 

contracts are a joke.


Edited by noneyons - Jul 02 2014 at 12:01am
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