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It feels like just last month, TMobile CEO John Legere accused Verizon and AT&T of “raping” (ugh) its customers and that “the fuckers hate you”.

In a complaint filed today, the Federal Trade Commission is charging mobile phone service provider T-Mobile USA, Inc., with making hundreds of millions of dollars by placing charges on mobile phone bills for purported “premium” SMS subscriptions that, in many cases, were bogus charges that were never authorized by its customers…

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.

More in the PDF

Update: T-Mobile has responded publicly to the complaint saying it is being singled out…

We have seen the complaint filed today by the FTC and find it to be unfounded and without merit.  In fact T-Mobile stopped billing for these Premium SMS services last year and launched a proactive program to provide full refunds for any customer that feels that they were charged for something they did not want.  T-Mobile is fighting harder than any of the carriers to change the way the wireless industry operates and we are disappointed that the FTC has chosen to file this action against the most pro-consumer company in the industry rather than the real bad actors.

Full response here.

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4 Responses to “T-Mobile gets socked with an FTC complaint alleging the Uncarrier ‘Crammed Bogus Charges onto Customers’ Phone Bills’”

  1. fredhstein says:

    Will the FTC be as strict with T-Mobile as they were with Apple? Refresher – Apple agreed to a $32.5M settlement with the FTC – despite the fact that Apple already had a reimbursement plan in place with parents whose children bought in-app purchases.

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  2. degraevesofie says:

    We switched to T-mobile for one account recently, and unfortunately, they tacked on (and billed) two services we hadn’t signed up for (“Jump” and extra data allowance). Two phone calls easily fixed that (and customer support on the phone was pretty good), but it made us suspicious. I actually suspect it’s the store clerk who added these things after we signed the paperwork, but who knows.

    Other than that, T-mobile seems to be the better postpaid option in the U.S., though (if you can live with the somewhat reduced coverage).

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