Report finds that mobile consumers are being taken advantage of in the US
Consumers in the U.S. may have been paying hundreds of millions of dollars in illegal charges that have been issued by various sources that offer questionable services and content. The U.S. Senate Commerce Committee has released a report highlighting these fees and the financial pressure they have introduced to consumers throughout the country. The report notes that these illegal fees typically originate from small companies that charge fees for ringtones and news updates.
Large mobile service providers may be encouraging unauthorized fees from smaller companies
Small companies are not the only ones potentially issuing illegal fees. The report suggests that as much as 40% of the money collected by these small companies are taken by large mobile service providers like AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint. Some providers have allowed smaller companies to bill their customers for questionable services and digital products. Typically, smaller companies would be forced to refund the money they collected from consumers due to excessive complaints, but large service providers did little to mitigate the problem.
Companies are beginning to fall due to legal action
In July, a federal court in California closed down several companies that had charged mobile consumers more than $100 million in unauthorized fees. These fees were applied to cellphone bills and, in many cases, went unnoticed by consumers either due to automatic payment services or a simple lack of awareness. The Federal Trade Commission recently filed a complaint against T-Mobile as well, accusing the company of charging its customers a subscription fee for certain services, such as services that offer “flirting tips.”
Mobile space may soon see more regulation
Mobile technology has become a valuable part of many people’s daily lives, but mobile services are still in a state of infancy despite their massive popularity. The mobile space is beginning to see more regulatory attention, but consumers have still been taken advantage of by questionable services. The mobile space may soon fall under tighter regulation in the coming years, especially in the U.S., where consumers are being taken advantage of.