T-Mobile and the FTC have settled the ‘cramming’ (adding unwanted third-party charges to a phone bill) suit brought against the carrier in July.
The settlement requires T-Mobile to pay at least $90 million in refunds to customers who were unwittingly charged by third-parties. In addition to the refunds, T-Mobile must also pay $18 million in penalties to the attorney generals of all 50 states and the District of Columbia and $4.5 million to the FCC.
In a statement, FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez said, “Mobile cramming is an issue that has affected millions of American consumers, and I’m pleased that this settlement will put money back in the hands of affected T-Mobile customers”
The FTC brought the suit against T-Mobile in July. The FTC contended that the unwanted cramming charges were labeled as “Premium Services” and usually added an additional $9.99 to a bill. T-Mobile announced in June that it would stop adding these charges to customer bills.
In addition to full refunds to affected customers, T-Mobile must now get express consent before placing third-party charges on bills and give customers the ability to block all third-party charges.