If you were a T-Mobile or AT&T customer during the past five years, these carriers might owe you money.
The FCC negotiated settlements with both of them to reimburse customers over a practice known as mobile cramming.
Mobile cramming is when third-party services sneak small but recurring monthly charges onto your bill. Charges might involve things like horoscopes, trivia, or ringtones.
Earlier this month, T-Mobile agreed to pay $US90 million to settle the FCC investigation into mobile cramming on its network. In October, AT&T agreed to pay $US105 million to settle the allegations against it. The FCC called that the “largest enforcement action in FCC history.”
While some of that money will be paid as fines to the government, a lot of it was put into a kitty to reimburse consumers.
But reimbursement won’t be automatic. Consumers have to contact the carriers, fill out forms, ask for the money back.
The deadline to apply for a T-mobile refund is April 30, 2015. The T-mobile website is http://t-mobilerefund.com/billing. The deadline to apply for an AT&T refund is May 1, 2015. The AT&T site for that is https://www.ftcsettlementatt.com/en/Claim.
U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., who was on the Senate committee investigating the situation, and Federal Communications Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel held a media conference Monday afternoon to inform people how they apply for refunds, reports Matthew Sturdevant at the Harford Courant.
Senator Blumenthal had strong words for the carriers, reports Sturdevant. He said:
Those carriers have been profiting from those false, fraudulent fees to the tune of 30 to 40 cents of every dollar, and that is not only wrong, it’s illegal, and it should produce refunds for consumers, but it won’t automatically do so.
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