Update: T-mobile CEO John Legere has responded to these allegations. His full response can be read at the end of this article.
We generally like T-Mobile in these parts and found it shocking that the FTC is alleging that the Uncarrier may have charged users millions of dollars in bogus fees. Read the AP report after the break.
WASHINGTON (AP) – The Federal Trade Commission is alleging that T-Mobile USA, Inc., made “hundreds of millions” of dollars off its customers through bogus charges.
In a complaint filed Tuesday, the FTC says the mobile phone provider billed consumers for subscriptions to “premium” texts such as $10-per-month horoscopes that were never authorized by the account holder. The FTC alleges that T-Mobile collected as much as 40 percent of the charges, even after being made aware that the subscriptions were scams.
FTC Chair Edith Ramirez said in a statement that the agency’s goal is to ensure T-Mobile repays its customers. She said there were, quote, “clear warning signs the charges it was imposing were fraudulent.”
Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
These are some pretty bold allegations and ones I hope aren’t true. Since T-mobile’s Uncarrier campaign the company has garnered praise from many users across the country and they continue to change the way business is done. If this is indeed true, it would smack right in the face of what the company seems to be trying to avoid, that is being another greedy big name carrier. We won’t know more until we get comments from T-mobile and see where the FTC’s allegations lead. What do you think of these allegations? Are you an affected customer? If you are please contact us and tell us your story. We will not reveal identities, email us at [email protected] and tell us your story. Or you can leave a comment below or on our social media pages, links located to the left of your screen.
Our Reaction to the FTC Lawsuit
We have seen the complaint filed today by the FTC and find it to be unfounded and without merit. In fact T-Mobile stopped billing for these Premium SMS services last year and launched a proactive program to provide full refunds for any customer that feels that they were charged for something they did not want. 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.
As the Un-carrier, we believe that customers should only pay for what they want and what they sign up for. 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. We are the first to take action for the consumer and I am calling for the entire industry to do the same.
This is about doing what is right for consumers and we put in place procedures to protect our customers from unauthorized charges. Unfortunately, not all of these third party providers acted responsibly—an issue the entire industry faced. We believe those providers should be held accountable, and the FTC’s lawsuit seeking to hold T-Mobile responsible for their acts is not only factually and legally unfounded, but also misdirected.
— John Legere, CEO of T-Mobile USA