- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 1, 2014

T-Mobile has been accused by the Federal Trade Commission of knowingly adding bogus charges to customers’ phone bills and making millions from the fraud, according to ftc-tmobile/11913151/”>USA Today.

In a practice known as “cramming,” the cellphone company intentionally put unauthorized, third-party charges on customers’ phone bills going back as far as 2009. The company also made it difficult to dispute the phony charges, the FTC said. 

In the complaint, the FTC alleges that T-Mobile billed customers for subscriptions to horoscope or celebrity gossip text services with $10-per-month price tags even though the charges were not authorized by customers, according to The Associated Press. The FTC also claims that even after T-Mobile was alerted by customers that the subscriptions were scams, the company reaped as much as 40 percent of the charges, the AP reported.

“It’s wrong for a company like T-Mobile to profit from scams against its customers when there were clear warning signs the charges it was imposing were fraudulent,” said FTC Chair Edith Ramirez in a statement, according to the AP. “The FTC’s goal is to ensure that T-Mobile repays all its customers for these crammed charges.”

John Legere, CEO of T-Mobile, disputed the FTC’s allegations, saying in a statement that the complaint is “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,” USA Today reported.

 

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