Washington, DC – The Federal Communications Commission announced today that it is investigating complaints that T-Mobile billed its customers for millions of dollars in unauthorized third-party subscriptions and premium text messaging services. The FCC has coordinated its investigation with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), which today filed a lawsuit against T-Mobile concerning the company’s placement of unauthorized charges on customer’s mobile phone bills—a practice known as “cramming.”
“Consumers should not be charged for services that they did not order,” said Travis LeBlanc, Acting Chief the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau. “We will coordinate our investigation with the FTC, and use our independent enforcement authority to ensure a thorough, swift, and just resolution of the numerous complaints against T-Mobile.”
Numerous T-Mobile subscribers have filed complaints with the FCC and the FTC alleging that unauthorized charges for unwanted third-party services were added to their T-Mobile wireless telephone bills. The unwanted charges included billing for ringtones, wallpapers, and text message subscriptions to services providing horoscopes, flirting tips, and celebrity gossip.
During the past four years, the FCC has taken nine enforcement actions against companies for cramming that have totaled more than $33 million in proposed fines to the U.S. Treasury.
For more information about the FCC’s rules protecting consumers from unauthorized charges on phone bills, see the FCC consumer guide, Cramming – Unauthorized, Misleading, or Deceptive Charges Placed on Your Telephone Bill. For information about other communications issues, visit the FCC’s Consumer website, or contact the FCC’s Consumer Center by calling 1-888-CALL-FCC (1-888-225-5322) voice or 1-888-TELL-FCC (1-888-835-5322) TTY; faxing 1-866-418-0232; or by writing to:
Federal Communications Commission
Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau
Consumer Inquiries and Complaints Division
445 12th Street, SW
Washington, DC 20554