Photo (cc) by JeepersMedia
As part of a settlement with the Federal Trade Commission and state officials, T-Mobile will soon start refunding customers for unauthorized third-party charges that were tacked onto their monthly wireless bills.
In addition to customer refunds, T-Mobile has agreed to pay a total of $18 million in fines and penalties to the 50 states and the District of Columbia, as well as $4.5 million to the FTC.
FTC chairwoman Edith Ramirez said in a statement:
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. Consumers should be able to trust that their mobile phone bills reflect the charges they authorized and nothing more.
In a similar case, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau filed suit against Sprint last week. The Federal Communications Commission settled a cramming lawsuit with AT&T in October.
T-Mobile’s settlement requires that the wireless carrier contact all potential recipients of refunds to tell them how to apply. Here is a notice about the refund program from T-Mobile.
If you think you were a victim of cramming between July 2010 and now, you can apply for a refund by clicking here. Current and former T-Mobile customers are eligible to submit a claim.
If you’re not sure if you had unauthorized charges on your T-Mobile bill, you can request an account summary for free here, which will allow you to see what was charged to your account.
Take note of these two important dates for T-Mobile’s customer refunds: Account summary requests must be submitted by April 30 and claim forms for refunds are due by June 30.
Have you been a victim of cramming? Do you trust that your wireless carrier is billing you only for charges you authorized? Share your thoughts below or on our Facebook page.