American authorities have filed a complaint alleging that the company has been adding unauthorized charges to bills.
The mobile carrier giant, T-Mobile USA has had a complaint filed against it by the United States with an accusation that the service provider has been charging customers millions of dollars in added unauthorized charges.
The authorities are accusing the company of a billing practice which is better known as “cramming”.
The charges in question that were being added by the mobile carrier to the bills it has been sending to its customers include those for subscription services such as celebrity gossip and horoscopes that are sent to the device user via text message. These services often cost the customer $9.99 per month. According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), T-Mobile USA had been receiving an average of 35 to 40 percent of the amounts that were being charged to its customers for those services.
That said, the FTC also said that the mobile carrier was charging the customers without their authorization.
The FTC explained that the customers were signed up without their own knowledge and without having given their authorization for the charges. The Federal Communication Commission (FCC) also stated that it was looking into cramming allegations against T-Mobile USA, and that it would now be coordinating its own efforts with those of the FTC.
The FTC has now filed a request with the court to assign an order to T-Mobile USA – which is the fourth largest mobile carrier in the United States when measured by the number of customers it serves – to cease and desist these bill cramming activities, to provide its customers with refunds, and to give up any income that it had brought in by way of this practice.
The mobile carrier, which has established a powerful reputation as being an affordable option that cuts its prices for its customers, has released a statement that says that its billing for text services had already stopped and on June 10 it had already contacted the customers that had experienced “crammed” bills, in order to provide them with directions for requesting a refund. The company’s CEO, John Legere released an email statement that said “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.”