FTC Charges T-Mobile Made 'Hundreds of Millions of Dollars' in Bogus Charges
The FTC is suing T-Mobile over adding bogus charges without the customer's consent, a complaint that the operator is calling "unfounded and without merit."
The Federal Trade Commission filled a complaint Tuesday claiming that the "uncarrier" made "hundreds of millions of dollars" by charging for "premium" SMS subscriptions "that, in many cases, were bogus charges that were never authorized by its customers."
The FTC claims that T-Mobile received anywhere from 35% to 40% of the total amount charged to consumers for subscriptions for content such as flirting tips, horoscope information, or celebrity gossip that typically cost $9.99 per month. The commission alledges that "T-Mobile in some cases continued to bill its customers for these services offered by scammers years after becoming aware of signs that the charges were fraudulent."
You can read the complaint here.
T-Mobile US Inc. CEO John Legere hit back quickly on Tuesday with an open letter responding to the complaint. "T-Mobile is fighting harder than any of the carriers to change the way the wireless industry operates and we are disappointed that the FTC has chosen to file this action against the most pro-consumer company in the industry rather than the real bad actors," Legere writes.
He says that T-Mobile stopped billing for premium SMS services in 2013 and launched a program to "provide full refunds" for any customers that believed they were billed for "something they did not want."
"We exited this business late last year, and announced an aggressive program to take care of customers and we are disappointed that the FTC has instead chosen to file this sensationalized legal action," Legere continued. "We are the first to take action for the consumer and I am calling for the entire industry to do the same."
See the T-Mobile response here.
— Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, Light Reading