FTC sues T-Mobile for “Wireless Cramming”

If you have been affected by mobile cramming, you are welcome to contact us.

An excerpt from the complaint (pdf):

Until at least December 2013, in addition to charging for phone services offered by Defendant (T-Mobile) Defendant has charged many consumers for other services offered by third-party merchants. These purported services have included monthly subscriptions for content such as ringtones, wallpaper, and text messages providing horoscopes, flirting tips, celebrity gossip, and other similar information (“Third-Party Subscriptions”). Defendant typically has charged consumers $9.99 per month for such Third-Party Subscriptions.

In numerous instances, Defendant has charged consumers for Third-Party Subscriptions that the consumers did not order or authorize, a practice known as cramming. Defendant has continued to charge consumers for Third-Party Subscriptions even after large numbers of consumers complained about unauthorized charges. Refund rates for the subscriptions were high – in some cases as high as 40%. Further, Defendant has continued to charge consumers for Third-Party Subscriptions even after industry auditor alerts, law enforcement and other legal actions, and news articles indicated that the third-party merchants were not obtaining valid authorization from consumers for the charges.

Defendant has retained a portion of each charge for Third-Party Subscriptions paid by consumers, typically at least 35% of the charge and in some cases as high as 40%. Defendant has retained a larger cut from subscriptions that generate a large percentage of refunds. Defendant has earned hundreds of millions of dollars from Third-Party Subscriptions. T-Mobile’s practices have caused consumers millions of dollars of injury.

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