Back on July 1st of 2014, the FTC was reportedly coming after T-Mobile for allowing third party charges to hit the bills of customers, a lawsuit that has now apparently resulted in T-Mobile settling that court case in the amount of $90 million, which is to be dispersed out back to the customers who have been affected. After the news of the suit from the FTC broke and the media picked up the story, T-mobile promptly responded with a letter explaining their stance on the matter, stating that they found the complaint “to be unfounded and without merit,” further stating that they had stopped billing customers for those premium SMS charges in 2013, and had since begun a “proactive program to provide full refunds for any customer that feels that they were charged for something they did not want.”
Although the courts have ruled that T-Mobile has to pay that money back, customers will only receive any money if they can prove that they were charged for any premium SMS fees during those time periods indicated in the lawsuit filing this summer. The FTC’s investigation into this particular matter involving T-Mobile is only one of a handful of different instances that are similar, including past cases this year against AT&T, Amazon and Google over unauthorized charges billed to customers.
Of the $90 million that T-Mobile has to refund, a portion in the amount of $22.5 million has to be paid back to the FCC(Federal Communications Commission)and the states as a fine for the alleged violations. As for the customers who are involved or otherwise have been affected by these charges, T-Mobile will apparently have a refund program set in place for those customers to receive their money back for unwanted and unauthorized fees, which the court ruled T-Mobile has to inform each and every customer of. So, if you are a T-Mobile customer and you ended up with some unauthorized premium SMS charges on your bill over the past year or two, look out for an email from T-Mobile explaining the process on how to get the refund for them. Although T-Mobile’s case has reportedly been settled, the FTC states that they will continue to investigate carriers in regards to cramming complaints from customers.