By: Allan M. Siegel
On Tuesday July 2, 2014, federal regulators from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) filed a lawsuit against T-Mobile, one of the world's largest mobile phone service providers. In the lawsuit, the FTC alleges that T-Mobile had been illegally profiting from putting bogus charges on customers' bills. In total, the FTC claims that T-Mobile defrauded customers out of hundreds of millions of dollars.
The claim against T-Mobile centers on a practice known as
cramming. Cramming involves putting unauthorized, misleading, or deceptive charges on phone bills without the customer's permission. According to an
FTC press release, T-Mobile's cramming involved the following:
- T-Mobile billed customers for SMS text message subscriptions from third-party companies, including subscriptions for services such as flirting tips and celebrity gossip updates.
- Customers did not sign up for these subscriptions, but were still typically billed $9.99 a month.
- T-Mobile allegedly received 35% to 40% of the fees.
The practice of cramming is illegal because it is a form of consumer fraud. In many cases, T-Mobile customers were unaware that they were being fraudulently billed because the bogus charges were often buried in lengthy bills. According to the FTC, the cramming had been ongoing since 2009, and T-Mobile should have been aware of the illegal practice after a number of customers requested refunds.
Were You Fraudulently Charged by T-Mobile?
Federal regulators have been focusing their attention on cramming by T-Mobile and other wireless providers, including AT&T, Sprint, and Verizon because it unfairly harms consumers. As a firm with a record of success representing victims of consumer fraud, Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. is offering our service and support to customers who were fraudulently charged.
The District of Columbia also has a very powerful statute called the DC Consumer Protections Procedure Act which is designed to protect DC residents from fraudulent conduct like this. Under the statute, a DC resident may be entitled to treble damages, punitive damages, and attorney's fees.
Our consumer fraud lawyers are currently reviewing cases from consumers who paid for unauthorized services from T-Mobile and other service providers. We are prepared to explain how you may be entitled to recover your money and how we can help.
For a free legal consultation, call 202-644-8303 or fill out a free online case evaluation form.