T-Mobile reacts to FTC: Allegation is “unfounded and without merit”

T-Mobile_CEO_John_Legere_07102013

As expected, T-Mobile has responded to the allegation from the FTC that it has been adding “bogus charges” to customer accounts, and profiting from premium SMS services unwanted by customers. Like I mentioned in the post initially, T-Mobile announced back in November that it is doing away with premium SMS charges, and recently launched a program to refund those charges. It’s along those lines that T-Mobile responded to the FTC claim, stating that the allegation is “unfounded and without merit.”

In a post written and published by John Legere, the company outlines its beliefs that the accusation is one that needs to be aimed at the industry as a whole, not at T-Mo individually, especially not following the carrier’s plan to get rid of premium SMS charges completely.

The full press release is below:

“We have seen the complaint filed today by the FTC and find it to be 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.  T-Mobile is fighting harder than any of the carriers to change the way the wireless industry operates and 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.

As the Un-carrier, we believe that customers should only pay for what they want and what they sign up for. We exited this business late last year, and announced an aggressive program to take care of customers and we are disappointed that the FTC has instead chosen to file this sensationalized legal action.  We are the first to take action for the consumer and I am calling for the entire industry to do the same.

This is about doing what is right for consumers and we put in place procedures to protect our customers from unauthorized charges. Unfortunately, not all of these third party providers acted responsibly—an issue the entire industry faced.  We believe those providers should be held accountable, and the FTC’s lawsuit seeking to hold T-Mobile responsible for their acts is not only factually and legally unfounded, but also misdirected. “

It’ll be interesting – to say the least – to see where this case goes now. This is an industry wide issue. Although it may seem like using T-Mobile as a scapegoat, it’s more about using T-Mobile as the example to the industry, because of the attention it’s been getting recently. As noted by Business Insider:

T-Mobile is a good target for the FTC in its battle against cramming. To be clear, T-Mobile probably isn’t the only carrier that’s cramming. But the company’s marketing message has been to eliminate “pain points” like contracts and overage charges. Filing charges against T-Mobile will likely resonate more with the public and draw more attention to cramming practices.

It’s not the last we’re going to hear of this. What do you make of this action by the FTC? Have you seen any of these charges on your bill without subscribing?

Source: T-Mobile
Last quote: Business Insider

Tags: , , ,

  • Jayy Suave

    If this is indeed true, I feel totally betrayed.
    As loyal supporters of T-Mobile, we, in a way, look at them as our friend.
    And this type of stuff makes us feel like we’ve been stabbed in the back.
    We now have trust issues.

    • gsm1900

      Huh? T-Mobile recognized they were doing something shady, corrected it, then proactively reached out to affected customers, all without any government intervention. 8 months later the FTC takes a bribe from AT&T and puts out some press releases and you feel betrayed?

      • Jayy Suave

        You know what, all of you guys are totally right. I apologize because I certainly made a mistake. I probably should have thought about what I was going to post before posting. T-Mobile did do the right thing. It totally slipped my mind because I literally just read the article last week.

    • Aaron Davis

      Except that t-mobile publicly admitted to having crammed 8 months ago.

      It’s very odd that the FTC would choose to “expose” the one company that that had already exposed itself (and started issuing refunds) months earlier.

      It’s like going after a reformed ex-drug addict for drug use, while ignoring the actual drug users.

      • UMA_Fan

        Its still the user ultimately ‘signing up’ somehow.

    • donnybee

      T-Mobile took a stance against these practices last year. Before any other carrier, by the way. They then took it a step further by announcing that they would be refunding any retroactive charges to customers who may have been affected by these SMS scams. That was something T-Mobile didn’t have to do on it’s own. If anything, you should have a greater trust in T-Mobile to take care of its customers, because they are proactive and forward thinking when it comes to issues like this.

      The FTC filed this since T-Mobile basically admitted they would be giving refunds. Lawyers and other carriers are doing this because it’s a fight they already will “win”. This is a ploy to make T-Mobile look bad. T-Mobile took care of you, and really in the end, if you signed up for a pay-per-month SMS service back in the day, who’s fault is that?

  • http://rosarynovice.stblogs.com/ Augustine

    Given the IRS persecution of critics of the regime, it wouldn’t surprise me if the FTC would be acting on the commands of those paying for political campaigns, notoriously ATT and VZW. It might be a hack, smearing job paid by those who own the Hollow States of America.

  • PapaSmurf

    Never seen any extra charges. My bill has been the same for 2 years now!

  • Jesse James

    It just doesn’t make sense that 3rd party scammers wouldn’t target customers on other carriers and yet Tmobile seemed to be the only carrier to do anything about it.

  • But Of Course

    My guess is>>> Lying cheese eating surrender monkey. Give me my money back or we will see you in court. Attorneys getting in line now!

    • Piss off

      Of screw off you can’t afford an attorney

      • Joe Esquire

        Um, the attorneys take a share of the settlement you moron.

      • Joe Esquire

        Um, the attorneys take a share of the settlement you moron.

  • CalicoKJ

    I’ve seen charges from 3 of the 4 “top” carriers (won’t go near the death star). I was unable to tell on T-Mo whether or not the teenager had actually signed up for the service or not, but T-Mo readily cancelled the charge and refunded all months that I had been charged. I didn’t have anyone else on my other accounts when this happened. Sprint also refunded charges, but tried to tell me that it was my fault they were there. I had to fight Verizon for several months to get the charges to stop, and then they only refunded one months worth. This is a industry-wide issue, not just T-Mobile. At least they (T-Mo) have made attempts to stop these practices…

  • Jeremy Turnley

    Sounds to me like someone’s lobbiest managed to pay the right people to point fingers at T-Mo for something all the carriers do. Once the stink is over, T-Mo will give free texting to all customers as “Uncarrier 8″ and the rest of them will continue to roll along ripping people off.

    • donnybee

      And then someone will file a lawsuit against T-Mobile for exorbitant SMS fees in the past. Basically, if T-Mo announces it wants to correct a wrong, lawyers and lobbyists want to use that as an ‘admission of guilt’ so they can have an automatic win in court. That’s what this is all about.

      • philyew

        This is also a convenient way for the federal authorities to wash their hands of responsibility for having required the mobile industry to support this kind of third party service in the first place.

        • Jesse James

          yea the fact that chargers can be “authorized” so easily is a problem in itself that the government should fix.

        • Singleweird

          i dont think buying something is something that should be not easy. technically, no legal contract is enforceable under the age of 17.5, and no contract is enforceable without a signature or verbal agreement, so the “authorization” is barely even there.

  • Eric

    AutoUnion39 from the website MacRumors must have paid the FTC to post this crap. :P

    (Union is the most famous T-Mobile hater on MacRumors.)

  • Justin Merithew

    This whole thing is incredibly shady and I really hope it doesn’t make T-Mo look bad. They did the right thing, now the FTC is trying to smear them. Whether it’s a scheme by the big two is hard to say, but no matter which way you cut it it isn’t right. I just hope most people are smart enough to see this lawsuit is BS.

  • Cam Fas

    The other carriers used to charge me for crap and they would refund after I complained it would appear that they are threatened by tmobile. My bill hasn’t been strange since getting tmoble it’s been on point and I have been using them since October

  • UMA_Fan

    I still can’t understand why the FTC is singling out T-Mobile while at&t and Verizon have done this as well. It HAS to be a lobbying effort on verizon/att’s part.

    • fentonr

      Especially when T-mobile stopped this months ago and is offering refunds.

    • S. Ali

      ATT/Verizon “settled” with the FTC (paid something), while T-Mobile refused. However, TMO also ended this billing practice AND refunded all customers that made requests. ATT/VZW have made no commitment or refunds.

      NOTE: The FTC attorney bringing up these charges happened to also work 6 years at a law firm that represents AT&T. The timing of these allegations seems suspect.

  • Deadeye37

    My guess is that the FTC is doing what government bodies do best….work off of old data and go after the company that the lobbyists tell them to go after. Bureaucracy at its finest!

  • Growup

    Anyone complaining should take their own fault here….if you don’t look at your bill EVERY month there is no one to blame but yourself.

  • Sam1116

    Well I’ve been with t-mobile for about 10 years, and I always wondered what was all these premium charges from. I guess I have my answer now

    • Singleweird

      wow. stop texting “59999″ to get the frog ring tone and you won’t have premium charges. your carrier didnt sell it to you. your tv did.

      • Jesse James

        it isn’t just that. you can have a charge authorized just by typing a reply to a text from an unknown number

        • Sam1116

          Good point.

      • Sam1116

        I’ve always used my own music for ringtones. Those you mention are a waste of time and money

        • Sam1116

          And who in the hell uses frog ringtones SMH

  • YABD

    Sometimes when you don’t have nothing to say is bettet to keep the mouth close, because if you talk you do it without base.

  • Singleweird

    remember how all carriers send you a bill? and on that bill is an itemization down to the cent that we’re asking for? those are handy.

    • Jesse James

      I haven’t had a phone bill “sent” to me in years. Its the customers responsibility to look it up

      • fentonr

        You should probably call them and ask why you haven’t received one then. My experience has been that if you don’t get bills, you probably didn’t update an address or requested not to be sent the bill. Either way, you know you’re not getting one so if you don’t know what you’re being charged, that’s on you.

        • Jesse James

          Its called paperless billing. When all my billing information is online a paper bill is just junk mail

  • Bob

    I had an AT&T GoPhone account balance drained by those premium SMS subscribers… and AT&T did nothing to help me. T-Mobile is the good guy here, I hope the FTC plays fair and drops the bullshit… They should be suing the SMS scammers!

  • bill mayor

    Without merit…. please spare me…

    For those who don’t know, getting the FTC to act upon a few dissatisfied customers is just another day for them and FTC blows it off.

    FTC must of received way too many Tmobile USA customer complaints to ignore it. The FTC doesn’t not act upon a complaint from a few hundred Tmobile USA customers.

    If a Tmobile USA customer acts in good faith to resolve an issue with Tmobile USA shady billing practices, and it is not resolvable and Tmobile USA customer service says “too bad, can’t help you”, then the customer is able to file a valid complaint.

    Obvious there were enough Tmobile USA customer who hung up the phone dissatisfied, and wanted a better answer to the shady charges.

    • Adrayven

      Not really.. They prefer this to the bad juju of net neutrality debate.. it’s watch this hand and not the other ploy! :D Yup

      If you think the FTC is not a political arm, then your SMOKIN! somethin, and should share! WOOHOO!

      • kalel33

        The department that is dealing with Net Neutrality is the FCC, not the FTC.

  • Andy

    I’d say that Verizon or AT&T have someone at FTC in there back pocket. Distract the competition so they will not lose so many customers.

    • GinaDee

      Not really Andy. T-Mobile is accused of knowingly billing for premium SMS and trying to bury it under confusing language.

      Corporations DO commit crimes. Let’s not deflect criticism back to AT&T or Verizon just because it makes you feel better.

      T-Mobile is not some little company either. These are some serious allegations. Some from T-Mobile corporate are going to get in serious trouble if this pans out not to their favor.

      T-Mobile has ridiculed and scorned AT&T for being less than pro-consumer even using the term “raping.” If I was AT&T I’d capitalize on this. It’s payback time.

      • Adrayven

        Na.. lets just make sure they get their fare share because they do it too!

    • Matt

      You want to talk ridiculous charges and fees, look at what Verizon, AT&T, and Sprint charge for data: it’s extortion

    • Spanky

      Oh please. Stop it with the blind T-Mobile fanboyism.

    • Andy

      I realize they do it to. Also, you can’t tell me Verizon and AT&T.aren’t happy this happened to T-Mobile at this time. I’d expect they will try to capitalize on it but yes there guilty too. Timing just seems odd.

    • T-Mobile Cares

      Sorry, AT&T and Verizon are next. They are not immune to this.

  • Mike

    Rather than making an ass of himself, Legere should be directing his accounting department to proactively identify anyone who was charges a premium charge and issue them a check. Better to do this than looking like an uncooperative jerk. The more uncooperative he looks the more the FCC will get involved. John, here’s a little advise, you can act like a park ape anywhere you want, but you need to be on the best of terms with the Agency that regulates your industry. So far your public comments towards the FCC will not engender much support From anyone at the FCC. I see another appology in your future, John.

    • jesse4685

      This is against the FTC not FCC don’t confuse the two. Do your research before you post junk. Legere did the right thing. They addressed this issue before the accusations.

  • maximus1901

    Many here mock sprint for its network progress but take a look at tmobile’s planned 2013 coverage and compare it to today’s.
    https://twitter.com/maximus1901/status/484148202720215040

  • maximus1901

    I know that many here mock sprint for their slow rollout but let’s ask john Legere about TMO’s rollout:
    https://twitter_com/maximus1901/status/484148202720215040

    • TechHog

      Found the Sprint customer. Look at when that plan started, when Ledger became CEO, and what major events happened in between. If that doesn’t answer your question, you’re hopeless.

      • maximus1901

        Please explain. Why couldn’t TMO execute on a plan that was supposed to be done in 2013? Att buyout cost a year. Why aren’t they done by now?

        • Mark

          You said it yourself: DT stopped caring. They ran into flak at home and decided to bail on the US market to concentrate on Europe, hence the IPO. Executing that plan depended on continued capital investment from DT, and Papa Bear pulled the plug.

        • maximus1901
      • maximus1901

        I guess it doesn’t matter. What’s REALLLY exciting is that if TMO believed it was able to achieve the coverage depicted ….. (Mouth watering)
        That coverage seriously makes me drool a thousand oceans.

        Take a look at the tweet. Has link to original deutsche Telekom presentation.

        That PROVES that TMO is able to compete if it wants to and DT is just lying when it says TMO can’t. What they really mean is they want to exit the market.

        Can you imagine how much lower att’s prices would be if TMO had that coverage!?!?!?!? Even if it was Hspa+21 in rural areas.
        #unreal

        • TechHog

          That’s the thing. DT stopped helping, T-Mobile sacked at keeping promises back then, LTE wasn’t in the cards, Ledger wasn’t even CEO until 2012… A different T-Mobile made that promise. If they hadn’t decided to roll out LTE, it might have been possible, but even then I have doubts. They don’t have that spectrum.

    • Justin747

      Step 1 – Go to Rootmetrics
      Step 2 – Click Rootscore Reports at the top left of page
      Step 3 – Find ONE city where Sprint wins against the other carriers

      Bonus Points – Explain how Sprint is DEAD LAST in it’s home area of Kansas City

    • S. Ali

      Holy crap, how many places are you going to post this non-sense? That is a slide from Philip Humm’s reign (former CEO) who was in the process of selling TMO to ATT. You can clearly see that the map shows ATT coverage. How dense are you?

      • maximus1901

        It says native coverage and addresses decreased roaming costs. How bad is YOUR eye sight?

        • S. Ali

          You’re a god damn idiot. You are interpreting things from that image that was never even said during the actual presentation. You’re completely ignoring the context of that slide to mean whatever you want it to mean. Even an ignoramus can see that it refers to the combined assets of ATT/TMO. There are regions on that map where TMO DOESN’T OWN TOWERS, but ATT does.

        • maximus1901

          Please address the slide. Says “owned 3G/4g coverage” which means NOT roaming on att, correct?

      • maximus1901

        OMG. I just looked at tr slide and it says “increased owned coverage”.

  • maximus1901

    By the way mods, definitely not cool that you rejected previous post with _ changed to a .

    • thepanttherlady

      By the way maximus1901, perhaps maybe, just maybe your comment went into moderation on its own due to the link you entered. That’s the way tgis is set up. No one touched your comment.

      And I apologize for having dinner with my kids before checking to see if you had anything pending approval. Please forgive me.

      /sarcasm

      • maximus1901
        • thepanttherlady

          Not my site. :)

  • Binny Gupta

    what about the metro shutdown? It was supposed to happen today

  • Guest

    How can the government get away with slander?

    • ianken

      It’s not slander. Learn to legal before using legal terms.

      • Nick

        Oh right, thanks mr. internet. :)

  • Guest

    Not shocked at all. A business is never going to do anything to benefit the customer, period! John was right when he said these other carriers are raping us, he just forgot to include Tmobile as well LOL

  • Johnny Boy

    T-Mobile must have known this was coming, which is why they announced the refunds a few months ago. To try to get in front of the coming scandal. They’re f-cked

    • T-Mobile Cares

      Thank you for your positive words. We were very aware this was coming, because we brought it to light. We made the decision to prevent SMS Premium Services billing without a customer jumping through hoops to do so. Therefore, we are far from your expletive. We did and continue to do the right thing for our customers. Have a nice day.

      • #don’t believe

        agreed read above… TMO has customers bests interests in mind/heart ahead of other carriers who were not implicated in this FTC post

        • Spanky

          “TMO has customers bests interests in mind/heart”
          If you truly believe this, I have a slightly used bridge to sell you. They are a for-profit corporation; as such, they have no one’s interests in mind other than those of their shareholders.

  • TechHog

    This is huge. The bad press from this alone could be enough to kill T-Mobile’s momentum, and if they lose the case it’s over. This calls all of T-Mobile’s unmarried actions into question, especially with the music thing in consideration. It looks like T-Mobile got too cocky. This is the end of subscriber growth.

    • T-Mobile Cares

      Thank you for your positive words. We were very aware this was coming, because we brought it to light. We made the decision to prevent SMS Premium Services billing without a customer jumping through hoops to do so. Therefore, we are far from your expletive. We did and continue to do the right thing for our customers. Have a nice day. We’ll be just fine.

      • TechHog

        I’m just saying that, if this isn’t proven untrue, trust will be lost. It’s a fact. It’ll mean that T-Mobile lied, full-stop.

        This could also affect T-Mobile’s chances of controlling the company after you-know-what.

        • #don’t believe

          see above from 900ssMike… all carriers have battled this practice that started years ago with open billing and SMS capabilities.

          Hear the real message, TMO really is trying their hardest on all fronts to have our best interests in mind. They installed a practice last year but potentially there are still operational improvements to come to ensure all customers are secured from this practice of 3rd party billing

    • Phone Tech Guy

      That might be the silliest comment I have ever read. The subscriber growth is over? Relax….it’s ok…breathe…everything is going to be alright. Tmobile is the only carrier who is doing anything about this problem in the first place…the FTC isn’t going to win anything.

      • UMA_Fan

        Its a fair point that its a kick in the face of brand perception and its horrifying most of the online press can’t see this for what it really is. The masses will think tmobile defrauded customers and not think much more beyond that.

  • 900ssMike

    Verizon did this to me and it took several phone calls to finally get the charges taken off. The people in the stores were the worst and wouldnt help at all. T Mobile isnt the only one. All the carriers are complicit.

  • superg05
    • Paul

      Yes.

  • Shane McCloud

    Well I can tell you first hand T- Mobile screwed me over several years ago. i paid cash for 4 phones and was guaranteed my bill would not be over $100 since I paid upfront for these phones. I spent almost $1000 for these phones and was told I would only have to pay $79.00 a month for the family plan.Well when I got my first bill it was over $700. They charged me to activate each phone and I had a lot of these bogus charges on there as well. When I called they was rude and said pretty much to pay or have your account shut off. I will never use them again.

    • #don’t believe

      this screams fail… there are some details you ignored or are not sharing

    • yankeesusa

      Ok. Even if you told every single detail, that was years ago. Since then t-mobile is a completely different company now.

    • KingofPing

      Shenanigans.

      You are either the dumbest consumer alive, or are flat-out lying.

      Pick one; Pick both; it doesn’t really matter – either make any “point” you were trying to make ridiculous.

    • tcheney

      I’ve been in wireless sales and regular retail for years. One thing I’ve noticed is anytime a consumer uses the words “screwed me”. It’s usually a lie they are the problem not the carrier or the product. If someone came in to get a phone and started telling you a story how Sprint or whoever screwed them. They didn’t pass the credit check. Only crybabies who think the world is against them say they got screwed.

    • Jwajid

      Several years ago? Value and simple choice was introduced last year. Save $79??? $79 times 24 months equal $1896. Sir your argument is invalid.

      • Shane McCloud

        I`m so glad you can use a calculator. But what in hell does that have to do with my first bill being over $700? That wasn’t going to be the only bill I received from them.Your scientific explanation is invalid. Who said anything about their Value and Choice whatever anyways?

  • dafreeds

    Typical that only T-Mobile get dragged through the mud. I am pretty sure that this has more to do with the Verizon and AT&T lobbyists in D.C. pushing the FTC to probe against T-Mobile only. This practice has been shunned at T-Mobile and T-Mobile is the only company to proactively stop this practice and even refund people’s money. They started this back in October 2013. What other carriers did this, none. They have the same issues too and the FTC picks on just us. I hope John does what John does and reciprocates these “findings” back to the big two. Plus, as is the case in the world of the sensationalism we call journalism, they say that some people don’t see the charges because they autopay. Well, that is their own damn fault. It is no different than some idiot who left the water on at their garden hose for months and it was running a little and they just autopaid paid their bill and blamed the water company for their extra charges. I am a T-Mobile employee and a subscriber and if anyone looks at their bill via paper or online, it is clear to me that there are extra charges. The bill shows a whole column on the summary page for extra charges. Who should get the blame on this?? The customer should be aware in this day and age, that every bill needs to be scrutinized.

    • Spanky

      Actually, all other carriers did this as well. A simple Google search will prove this.

    • bryan

      Agreed. I signed up for auto-pay and get a text with the amount due every month. If my bill is higher or lower, I know right away. Sucks that cramming happens, but people need to pay attention to their accounts.

  • RewardLoyalty

    T-Mobile has been shady since the Legere takeover. They won’t even let grandfathered plans upgrade via EIP – screw loyalty! They sent out letters last year letting us know that they are doing away with grandfathered plans only to have them deny sending such letters.

    It would not surprise me if Legere greed was involved in this too. Read his past and understand what he’s doing. Read his past!

    • maximus1901

      He’s not your buddy. He’s a CEO. End of story.

      • Randall Lind

        Maybe so but, he cut threw red tape and got me on JUMP. They started Jump a week after I got my Galaxy s4 and they would not let me upgrade to jump. A tweet to him his people called and fixed it.

    • Monkeyk

      I have a grandfathered plan (FT1000) and have bought a phone by EIP. If you think that Legere has a shady past, post a link.

    • Mike Dye

      Legeres greed? All the changes they have made have brought in customers, but they have yet to turn a profit. I think you need to look up greed in the dictionary.

    • Haverhill_John

      Really have to disagree. T-Mobile let me end my contract early and go to the non contract plan. They even gave me replacement sims for free for phones that I bought elsewhere.

    • anon

      funny because you can use EIP on a grandfathered rate plan. and if you cant, they enable you to do so by making it a BridgeToValue line where they give you $5 off voice and $15 off data

    • Jwajid

      Greed? $110 for 5 lines UNlimited talk, text and web. After tax $130 tell me WHO is better?

  • notyourbusiness

    Sometime last year, I noticed “Premium Services” appearing on my bill with a charge of $9.99. I immediately called T-Mobile and asked a rep what it was. She said it was some third party website that provides ringtones and wallpaper for phones that I’d never heard of, plus I haven’t paid for ringtones or wallpaper since 2009. She said it must have come as a result of me accidentally clicking on an ad in a free app, which didn’t sound that far out of the realm of possibility since the majority of apps on my last three phones were free. Anyhow, she promptly removed this from my current and previous bill and blocked it for good. No complaints.

    This never appeared as SMS for me, though.

    • gpt2010

      Same thing happened to me. They removed it and paid me back. I was suspicious at the time because they were so quick about giving me a refund even though they claimed it was not a TMO charge. Oh well. I got my money back and haven’t seen that charge again. That is why I do not setup automatic payments anymore with companies in the wireless industry or cable providers. I want to know what I am getting charged for before I pay them anything each month.

      • notyourbusiness

        Yeah. I never do automatic payments because I always want to see everything first. I also had a scare about a decade ago because AOL was automatically charging me monthly even though I had stopped using them months earlier!

  • muZen

    T-Mobile is so guilty. I saw this on a bill about three years ago. It took 15 minutes to get them to kill the charge and they gave me a one-time block — for free — on anyone “accidentally” subscribing to a premium server. So nice of them. T-Mobile claimed they had no idea what the service was, how it started. They played totally dumb. “We just do the billing…” What a total lie. They know where to send the refund check.

    • Jwajid

      This is probably the funniest and most accurate post ive seen yet. That is how easy it is to get your money back. One phone call, block charges, and refund. What else do you want.

  • Mike

    It must be pretty clear to the FTC that TMO’s proactive plan to reach out to customers is inadequate and not so proactive. Remember the Verizon data issue in which Verizon charged customers for data that didn’t have data plans on their account. Verizon said they was no way to know who was over charged and they could not identify by name and account who she be paid back. Suddenly when under a court order the info surfaced and checks were written. Cost Verizon tons more because at that point it was a class action suit and legal fees and the like were added into the settlement. Don’t be stupid John and let this one get out of hand. TMO made millions on these premium. Services even though they did nothing to earn it. Just pay everyone back and move on. It’s the right thing to do and people will respect TMO for taking the moral high ground.

    • Thomas

      Can you not read? That’s exactly what T-Mobile said it was going to do LAST YEAR.

      • Thomas

        Also keep in mind that if T-Mobile made tens of millions of dollars from this, how much do you think Verizon and ATT made with double the customer base. Hundreds of millions maybe? It is foolish to think that T-Mobile is the only one; however, they ARE the ONLY one to do something about it.

        • Mike

          Perhaps TMO knew a year or more ago that The FTC had mounting evidence of their wrong doing and the “campaign” to end the practice was their move to “show” that the evidence was false. Sure don’t hear much about how to file a compliant and get your money back campaign from TMO recently. The sort of complaints don’t pop up over night and can take several years to make it’s way through the investigation and enforcement phases. It’s all smoke and mirrors with no real commitment to ever proactively pay these people back.

          See TMO stock is falling and will likely continue to fall the longer TMO takes a passive stance in resolving (paying people back) the issue.

      • Jason

        Except he said that maybe T-Mobile wasn’t as proactive as they said they were going to be LAST YEAR. So I’d like to see status numbers (if any data is actually accessible) for the whole paying customers back thing.

      • Mike

        Tom, I read just fine. Look the facts are simple. TMO promised to make payback over a year ago. It’s using a third party firm to field the calls and make a payment. Obviously from information that is available, TMO is not being proactive in identifying who needs a refund. Instead it made a very announcement that if you think your untitled call this number. That’s a passive approach. Proactive would be identifying those folks that ever paid for such services and issue them a refund. TMO is not being proactive in any way to identify those people that got screwed. It’s being passive hoping that people forgot that they paid for these special “screw you services” through a special agreement in which TMO made millions is ill gotten money.

        Tom, I read just fine and suggest you bone up a bit so you really understand what TMO us really doing. Fact is they said they were going to pay people back. Fact they have not. Fact the courts would not be pursuing TMO if TMO made a full and complete payment to those who are entitled. Fact the FTC made a ruling on fact. The FTC’s decision was affirmed in Federal Court. now THE FCC is going to start having a crack at TMO.

        TMO is going to end up forking over millions and millions to fight a battle it can never win. just wait till the class action attorneys start making noise. Add a few million for their fees.

        Get with it Tom.

    • Jwajid

      Its called the Uncarrier.

  • AK

    I find it interesting that yesterday I was looking at my past billing online and then all of a sudden billing information was no longer available. I just checked my account right now and it is still not available. If this was an intentional move to prevent an influx of customer complaints, hopefully T-Mobile will fix this automatically so that customers do not have to go back and look at their prior bills and then contact customer service to request refunds.

  • Irfan

    i got that SMS a year ago and found 9$ charge on my bill , i called them , they refund me , and they added anonymous sms blocker in to my account . after that noting went wrong

    • OnlineRefugee

      And your point is?

      Four years ago it took me six months and many phone calls for T-Mobile to stop billing me $10 monthly for a service I did not order. And lots of things went wrong after that issue was resolved.

      • Jwajid

        4 years ago? Wow let it go. Uncarrier did not exist. You mentioned
        “Anyway, one of the pre-installed apps was MobiTV. That came with a 30-day free trial. After that the service would cost $10 monthly, (conveniently) billed to my monthly T-Mobile bill.” Soooo how is that BS? Sounds straight up to me. Collections for $20….Stop it. sending it is not worth it.

  • newcomer217

    Maybe this will scare Softbank away!!!

  • Troy Gossett

    This is clearly a ploy by someone a high ranking official paid off by Softbank in order to make a case for new ownership and FTC approval of merger. If T-Mobile is under investigation for poor treatment of customers the previous argument for keeping 4 carriers and blocking att merger is null and void.

  • OnlineRefugee

    I have two comments to this story, I will provide them in separate posts. One relates to my personal experience, the other will discuss the quite specific FTC allegations and how T-Mobile’s response is actually a generic non-response.

    MOBITV – Evidence of Cramming

    In March 2010 I bought a T-Mobile HTC HD2. That was a nice phone, except it has Windows CE on it, I think 6.1 That was the phone where they announced it would NOT be getting the upcoming Windows Phone ROM, debuting in Sept. 2010.

    Anyway, one of the pre-installed apps was MobiTV. That came with a 30-day free trial. After that the service would cost $10 monthly, (conveniently) billed to my monthly T-Mobile bill.

    MobiTV was OK, but I didn’t like it because there were few web-based live TV stations, most of the programming were video clips. Not worth $10 monthly, especially when I could use Netflix for a couple dollars more.

    So twice BEFORE the free trial period deadline I canceled the service, on the phone via the menu interface provided in the MobiTV app, and by calling T-Mobile, both actions done well BEFORE the 30-day free trial period expired.

    My efforts were akin to blowing in the wind because the bill-after-next I happened upon a $10 charge BURIED in my T-Mobile monthly bill. And I saw it only by chance. Like the current FTC complaint allegations, the bill DID NOT say the $10 was for MobiTV, it simply said something like “premium service” or “premium charge.” Only after I called T-Mobile customer service to question the $10 charge did I find out it was for MobiTV.

    The $10 charge was initially not a surprise because it has happened to me with other free trial offers. This was so common I refused to use free trial periods if the company required I provide a credit card to activate the trial period. I knew that most likely I would get charged a month or two, and it would be removed only after I threaten the company to file a complaint.

    (It is really dishonest that companies do this. Interestingly, notice how companies never erroneously give free service, I always get charged after canceling the free trial.) The only reason I got nailed this time around is because my cell bill got charged. If it had been a free trial period but only on giving a credit card, I never sign up for those deals.

    It took T-Mobile over six months to stop charging me monthly for MobiTV. And that was after four calls every few months, and each time T-Mobile swearing they would stop charging me.

    I recall one month refusing to pay that part of the bill, hoping that would get T-Mobile’s attention. It did. They threatened to send my account to collections, over $20. This to a customer who over the eight years had paid them over $25,000 in payments.

    The FTC should amend the complaint to add additional causes of action for fraud and add additional years as the period in dispute, 2010 or earlier when T-Mobile was offering MobiTV on its phones.

    When conducting discovery the FTC needs to also look at all customer accounts, communications via e-mail, message, or phone recordings, that will evidence T-Mobile’s pattern of unlawful conduct.

    The Judge should force T-Mobile to provide all internal communications between then TMOUS and Deutsche Telekom, especially discussing revenues. I would not be surprised to find evidence of criminal conduct, T-Mobile cooking the books, manipulating the numbers, and fleecing customers with these extra charges.

    FTC lawyers should contact all ex T-Mobile CSRs. Someone should be willing to sing like a canary, under orders to ignore calls like mine, until the third or fourth call, so that T-Mobile can get three to four months payments for services not provided, or to keep a line connected after the customer has ordered the account closed.

    Think of the numbers here. Assuming back in 2010 T-Mobile had 40 million subscribers, and in one way or the other improperly charged 1 million customers $10 monthly, that’s $10 million in fraudulent profits MONTHLY, over a half billion in five years.

    Your neighborhood robber will go to prison for taking $10 from the corner market. What should be the penalty for stealing $1, $10, 100, or $500 million?

  • OnlineRefugee

    I have two comments to this story, I will provide them in separate posts. One relates to my personal experience, the other will discuss the quite specific FTC allegations and how T-Mobile’s response is actually a generic non-response.

    MOBITV – Evidence of Cramming

    In March 2010 I bought a T-Mobile HTC HD2. That was a nice phone, except it has Windows CE on it, I think 6.1 That was the phone where they announced it would NOT be getting the upcoming Windows Phone ROM, debuting in Sept. 2010.

    Anyway, one of the pre-installed apps was MobiTV. That came with a 30-day free trial. After that the service would cost $10 monthly, (conveniently) billed to my monthly T-Mobile bill.

    MobiTV was OK, but I didn’t like it because there were few web-based live TV stations, most of the programming were video clips. Not worth $10 monthly, especially when I could use Netflix for a couple dollars more.

    So twice BEFORE the free trial period deadline I canceled the service, on the phone via the menu interface provided in the MobiTV app, and by calling T-Mobile, both actions done well BEFORE the 30-day free trial period expired.

    My efforts were akin to blowing in the wind because the bill-after-next I happened upon a $10 charge BURIED in my T-Mobile monthly bill. And I saw it only by chance. Like the current FTC complaint allegations, the bill DID NOT say the $10 was for MobiTV, it simply said something like “premium service” or “premium charge.” Only after I called T-Mobile customer service to question the $10 charge did I find out it was for MobiTV.

    The $10 charge was initially not a surprise because it has happened to me with other free trial offers. This was so common I refused to use free trial periods if the company required I provide a credit card to activate the trial period. I knew that most likely I would get charged a month or two, and it would be removed only after I threaten the company to file a complaint.

    (It is really dishonest that companies do this. Interestingly, notice how companies never erroneously give free service, I always get charged after canceling the free trial.) The only reason I got nailed this time around is because my cell bill got charged. If it had been a free trial period but only on giving a credit card, I never sign up for those deals.

    It took T-Mobile over six months to stop charging me monthly for MobiTV. And that was after four calls every few months, and each time T-Mobile swearing they would stop charging me.

    I recall one month refusing to pay that part of the bill, hoping that would get T-Mobile’s attention. It did. They threatened to send my account to collections, over $20. This to a customer who over the eight years had paid them over $25,000 in payments.

    The FTC should amend the complaint to add additional causes of action for fraud and add additional years as the period in dispute, 2010 or earlier when T-Mobile was offering MobiTV on its phones.

    When conducting discovery the FTC needs to also look at all customer accounts, communications via e-mail, message, or phone recordings, that will evidence T-Mobile’s pattern of unlawful conduct.

    The Judge should force T-Mobile to provide all internal communications between then TMOUS and Deutsche Telekom, especially discussing revenues. I would not be surprised to find evidence of criminal conduct, T-Mobile cooking the books, manipulating the numbers, and fleecing customers with these extra charges.

    FTC lawyers should contact all ex T-Mobile CSRs. Someone should be willing to sing like a canary, under orders to ignore calls like mine, until the third or fourth call, so that T-Mobile can get three to four months payments for services not provided, or to keep a line connected after the customer has ordered the account closed.

    Think of the numbers here. Assuming back in 2010 T-Mobile had 40 million subscribers, and in one way or the other improperly charged 1 million customers $10 monthly, that’s $10 million in fraudulent profits MONTHLY, over a half billion in five years.

    Your neighborhood robber will go to prison for taking $10 from the corner market. What should be the penalty for stealing $1, $10, 100, or $500 million?

  • stevejobbed

    Don’t let Legere’s BS fool you. I worked as a manager in a Tmobile call center for a while and these charges are bogus. I have sat in on conference calls with higher ups telling us what to feed reps so that these charges can continue. They told us to feed reps and customers a line about how the customer must have clicked a link or responded to a random text message. They would laugh about how gullible their customers were if we just kept up a consistent front then perception would become reality. These companies buy peoples info and were able to sign them up for subscriptions without them having to consent to anything and paid the carriers off to allow them to keep doing it. Tmobile makes 30-40% of the profit from these bogus charges. They knew they would be caught eventually and that is why you saw them reverse course late last year when the heat started to come down.

    • philyew

      Astonishing then that when I found such a bogus charge, it was immediately blocked and I received a full refund without any argument whatsoever.

      • stevejobbed

        sure you did, but think about how many people don’t look at their bills or have auto pay that don’t notice for months, sometimes years…

        • philyew

          Signing up for autopay doesn’t absolve the customer of their responsibility to review their bills. It’s not the company’s fault if someone chooses not to review their monthly bill.

          Every contract going all the way back to 2004 had a clause about customers having 60 days from the receipt of the first bill containing a disputed charge to register the dispute with the company. TM’s practices haven’t always been entirely above board, but customers who fail to review their bills have only themselves to blame, if they get stuck with unwanted charges.

        • stevejobbed

          So you think its ok for companies to allow erroneous charges (from companes that pay them to allow it and give Tmobile and other carrier a cut of the profits from) because its up to the customer to catch them? Wow, you would have made a great Enron executive….
          I have sat in meetings with these people telling me point blank that Tmobile has a vested interest in these charges and that even though customers didn’t initiate them they are an important revenue stream for the company. Legere is towing the company line but i have heard how they refer to their customer base (use terms like lazy, uneducated, free loaders with bad credit etc…) behind closed doors.

        • philyew

          Don’t put words in my mouth. Whatever may or may not have happened with TM’s actions, customers need to take responsibility for their side of the arrangement.

          I addressed the very specific point you made about people who don’t look at their bills. There are very few things that are required of a customer in practical terms; paying the bill in responsible manner…and understanding what they are paying.

          I’ve been a consistent advocate for the consumer here and previously in the TM forums for years, but if the consumer is to get a fairer deal in the big picture, they need to recognize that there is a two-way process and taking a few minutes each month to scrutinize bills is a small sacrifice.

        • OnlineRefugee

          Spoken like a true corporate mouthpiece. And T-Mobile employee. Blame the customer.

          Actually, the obligation falls on the company to submit a proper bill. T-Mobile cannot escape liability because its customers failed to catch their fraudulent conduct years ago.

          The customer has no obligation whatsoever to catch the company’s fraudulent conduct.

          And isn’t it interesting. T-Mobile didn’t make errors in the customers favor. All its “mistakes” and the customers failure to correct T-Mobile’s billing practices profited T-Mobile, not the customers.

          Out of curiosity, have you read the 10,000 or so pages comprising the terms and conditions to all your products, services, licenses, warranties, insurance policies, and purchases? Have you gone through the 500 or so pages comprising your monthly bills? Do you know the reason why and purpose behind every entry on your utility bills, tax payments, car maintenance, ISP, cable, etc.?

          If you have, you must be a fast reader or have nothing else to do.

        • philyew

          Since I am a customer (never have worked for TM, nor ever will work for them), I have had occasion to challenge an unjustified premium service charge on my bill. Unlike how you suggest, it was there in plain sight, not fraudulently hidden. TM addressed my concerns without hassle.

          I don’t expect you to believe me, since it conveniently doesn’t suit your view of the world, but I have been an advocate for several years in TM-related forums for consumer rights and have more than once called TM out for questionable practices. But in these dealings I hold to one principle, which is that with rights come responsibilities.

          If I want to see higher standards and better services from a vendor, then my minimum responsibility is to pay for the services I receive in a timely manner and ensure to the best of my ability that what I am paying is correct.

          If I choose to take the risk of skimming or ignoring the contractual terms of something I sign up for, then I have to accept that I contributed to any subsequent issue which turns out to have been directly addressed in those terms.

          Can contracts be better constructed? Of course they can. Can the interests of the consumer be better protected? Yes, for sure. But when it boils down to it, with or without contractual obligation, it is simple COMMON SENSE to review your bills before paying them, or at least not to start screaming about fraud and deception months later when you finally do take the trouble to take a look and discover something wrong.

          The fact is that the OP was talking about people who “don’t look at their bills”. If you don’t look at your bill it doesn’t matter if TM put the charge in 3 inch caps on the first page, you aren’t going to see it or get it fixed.

  • OnlineRefugee

    In law, attorneys draft complaints around what the evidence gathered to date establishes and what the attorneys know will support the claims. In federal court an attorney can be disbarred for filing claims that lack merit. Filing a complaint in federal court is quite serious and FTC lawyers are not going to file made-up cases against large corporations.

    Against this backdrop and standards here is what the FTC accuses:

    - T-Mobile’s billing practices made it difficult for customers to determine for what they were being charged, and by whom.

    - T-Mobile did not disclose the charges were recurring monthly subscriptions.
    - The heading under which the third party charges were visible could only be seen after clicking a separate link called “Use Charges.” Even after clicking through this still did not reveal the individual charges.

    - T-Mobile’s full phone bills, which could be more than 50 pages, made it nearly impossible for customers to find and understand third-party subscription charges.

    - Customers had to click through a “Summary” section, “Account Service Detail” section, and then reach the section labeled “Premium Services,” where the crammed items would be listed.

    - T-Mobile disguised the information to look like T-Mobile billings, not third party charges.

    - Prepaid customers did not receive monthly bills, as a result the subscription fees were debited from their pre-paid accounts without customer knowledge.

    - When customers found out about the charges for services not ordered, T-Mobile:

    Failed to provide full refunds;

    Refused refunds to some customers;

    Offered only partial refunds to others;

    Instructed consumers to seek refunds directly from the third party scammers – without providing accurate contact information enabling the customer to do so.

    - Told customers they had authorized the charges despite having no proof the customers ordered the services.

    Have fun guys defending against this case, T-Mobile is going down, big time.

    • philyew

      The “fun” part of the law is that cases have to go to trial and “smart” lawyers get to argue opposing claims, with contradicting evidence. If it was as simple as making an accusation, then we could be spared the expense of the trial phase, and those accused would be automatically deemed guilty and punished accordingly.

      Having been a victim of a bogus third party billing back in the days before the Legere regime, I can say with certainty that (a) the charge was visible on the bill, which is how I discovered it, (b) TM promptly blocked future charges, and (c) they made no issue about refunding the charge.

      It was crucial that I reviewed my bill systematically and challenged the charge promptly, having not established a pattern of paying for the charge and then trying to deny it.

      My recollection from that period was that most people complaining about a refusal to refund the charges in the TM forum had failed to challenge them promptly and had built up a pattern of implied consent by paying them over several months before raising a fuss.

      If the FTC is talking about refusal to refund charges in those circumstances, then their allegations have little merit.

      • OnlineRefugee

        97% of all civil cases settle. This case is NOT going to trial. It will settle for $100 million with Legere saying “We paid the $100 million to spare the expense of continued litigation.”

        Lawyers charge a lot, but not that much. :)

        P.S. You say: “(Customers) failed to challenge (charges) promptly and had built up a pattern of implied consent by paying
        them over several months before raising a fuss.”

        So you are saying if T-Mobile is successful at misrepresenting the charges, to where the customer pays the monthly bill (the victim assuming it is accurate), that T-Mobile is off the hook because the customer relied on the accuracy of T-Mobile’s monthly charges and built up a pattern of implied consent (to T-Mobile’s misrepresentations).

        While your statement might have superficial appeal to readers lacking a modicum of intellectual acuity, even the most slobbed of mental slobs knows there is no such principle in law or fact. You just made it up.

        And actually what you advance are the base elements of fraudulent conduct.

        • philyew

          I’m not saying “if T-Mobile is successful at misrepresenting the charges”. I have already said clearly that from my own personal experience, the charges appeared in plain sight, which was clear when I took the trouble to review the bill.

          My reference to the “pattern of implied consent” refers to any decision by TM not to refund disputed charges, if challenged outside the 60 day period referred to in the contract. If the matter ever came to a legal challenge, then I agree it wouldn’t be a matter of “implied consent”, but it would be a matter of contractual agreement.

          You could argue that the terms of Section 15 of the contract wouldn’t apply, if you could credibly argue that the charges are hidden from plain sight. As it is my opinion that this isn’t the case, that argument shouldn’t fly far, in my view.

          That only leaves the argument that TM might have conspired to add charges that they knew were not justified. If that can be proved, then TM deserve all that the system can throw at them.

  • OnlineRefugee

    One more post.

    Back in the old TMoNews days, when David was running things, some people posted complaints about T-Mobile and its questionable business practices. I used to say that T-Mobile execs should conduct Google searches and read TMoNews to see areas where it needed to improve.

    Lots of times T-Mobile employees would post retorts, insulting us and about how horrible customers were. They would brag about working in stores and kicking out shoppers they did not like, or refusing to give inquiring customers help with their phone, that they just bought from that employee.

    I used to post results of certain Google searches, to show that T-Mobile had some real problems. I would search certain terms, with quotes, to illustrate the magnitude of the problem.

    This is business malpractice for Legere to have made this statement. You know what happens when cases like this are publicized, and the Company issues a denial? First, this angers govt. counsel. Now they will work all the harder on the case.

    But worse for T-Mobile, now thousands of cheated customers will come forward with their stories. Many will contact the FTC to tell them what happened. That’s what I’m doing. (And unfortunate for T-Mobile I kept screen captures of everything back then.

    http://tinyurl.com/T-MobileComplaint (55,100 hits – “T-Mobile complaint”)

    http://tinyurl.com/T-MobileRippedOff (9,000 hits – “T-Mobile ripped me off”)

  • Mike

    Can’t wait to see the next round of denial from TMO. Will John Legere continue to act like a park ape, with all sorts of profanity laced language, will he continue to accuse others of “raping you” and not “giving a fuck about you”?

    Hmm…seems TMO is doing the “raping” and “not giving a fuck about you” or me or any other TMO customer!

    It’s time for you to leave TMO, John Legere. Is it time to start a petition to seek his ouster?

    • angel13chris

      You’re delusional. T-Mobile has taken more steps than any of the other nationwide carriers to shake up the industry.

      • Mike

        You my friend must be blind to the facts if the case. Legere has lied to us about the refunding of the “special screw you services” that were hidden on you bill and TMO has yet to refund. From the first breaking of the Story Legere said he has proactively identified the people who need to be refunded AND he told us this was underway starting in November 2013. He just announced that TMO just started the proactive refund process on JUNE 10 a days prior to the announcement of the FTC suit. We also learned that just today that he is doubling down on proactively refunding the people that were charged for the special screw you services. Hmm after 20 some days after the start of the proactive refund program and 2-3 days after being hit with an FTC action he’s going to “double down” on the refund process. What happen to all the actions to proactively refund the people over the past 6-7 months?

        he may be a visionary, but he also a lying, cheating CEO of the worst order. His words mean nothing and it’s time for him to go.

        • Aaron Davis

          “His words mean nothing and it’s time for him to go.”

          And be replace by who? An executive from at&t? Or maybe a former FCC chairman?

  • SAL K

    ITS FUNNY HOW NO ONE EVERY QUESTIONS VERIZON’S 24% TAXES ON YOUR BILL AND AT&T’s 19% TAX RATE…HOWEVER T MOBILE ONLY CHARGES 12-14% TAX….ITS EASY TO POINT FINGERS AT T MOBILE WHEN THE MEDIA HYPES UP SOME BOGUS ACCUSATIONS…ITS HILARIOUS HOW ALL THESE COMPANIES HATE ON T-MOBILE BUSINESS HOWEVER THEY ALL ARE COPYING T-MOBILE PLANS. VERIZON IS NOW OFFERING A EDGE PLAN SIMILAR TO T MOBILES JUMP AND AT&T HAS COPIED THE JUMP PLAN WITH THEIR VERSION OF NEXT. SPRINT HAS COPIED T MOBILE WITH THE THROTTLE DOWN OF DATA SPEED…..ALL THE COMPANIES COPY T MOBILE!!!…MAKES ONE WONDER WHY EVERYONE CHOOSES TO COPY T MOBILE….MAYBE THEY ARE DOING SOMETHING RIGHT…..SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT BEFORE YOU POINT FINGERS AT T MOBILE….ALL YOU CUSTOMERS WHO SIT BACK AND HATE ON T MOBILE…MEANWHILE YOUR OWN COMPANIES SCREW YOU WITH PLANS WHICH ARE PRICED ALMOST CLOSE TO DOUBLE OF THAT OF T MOBILE AND MAKE THE CUSTOMER STUCK IN A 2 YEAR CONTRACT. T MOBILE IS THE ONE AND ONLY COMPANY WHO IS PROVIDING FREEDOM TO THE CUSTOMER..AND WHAT DO YOU CUSTOMERS DO IN RETURN….YOU GUYS COMPLAIN ABOUT T MOBILE AND MAKE FALSE ACCUSATIONS AND HATE…..SOMEONE OFFERS YOU FREEDOM AND YOU GUYS SAY NO WE WANT TO GO TO VERIZON AND BE STUCK IN A CONTRACT….YOU GUYS ARE ALL FOOLS

  • BleedMagenta

    No offense, but a lot of people are severely misguided and uneducated about these third party charges and how they work. Just an FYI, it is android OS specific. This does not happen on the iphone. Another FYI, other carriers also carry android devices… and you better believe that these charges show up on those bills with OTHER carriers as well. The policies and procedures to subjugate those charges are very similar between all the carriers. It is up to the consumer to be cognizant of their bill and report suspicious charges promptly. When they were reported, t-mobile just like any other company with customers with the exact same charges, took care of them. The standard procedure was to block potential future charges and contact or give the consumer the contact to the third party that was charging. Every time when I called on behalf of the customer it was a simple option via voice prompt – to cancel sub please press “5.” Not that hard folks.

    I also love the salty passed employee’s that post here supporting this as a means to project their frustrations from their ‘promoted to customer’ status.

    Trust me when I tell you, and wait for it to finalize… this FTC allegation will go no where. Nothing will happen. Hype it up and scrutinize while you can to release those frustrations. End result, you feel a little bit better and this accusation blows over. Have a great day.

    • skittle

      With any “luck” the FTC will prove just as trustworth as the IRS and NSA ;) Agencies only “lose” emails and information that cover their backs.

      • skittle

        Or as “trustworhy” as my spelling ;)

    • CalicoKJ

      “Promoted to customer” status…love it. :)

    • Aaron Davis

      How is this android specific? “Premium” SMS existed long before smartphones.

    • IRIE4IPIEIR

      You’re an idiot, I didn’t even read your whole comment, stopped when I saw that you said this affects Android only. These type charges have existed since before smartphones, if you had a flip phone, you’d receive these charges. Dumb fu ck.

      • BleedMagenta

        It’s okay breh, you missed the point. I’ll simplify it for your tiny mind.

        A) These charges are common among all carriers – not just tmo.

        B) Third party premium charges are android specific (that does not mean the caller tunes you sub’d to through your flip phone – that is company related and not 3rd party) You’re right, charges have existed before smartphones – but not the ones this article is referring to. Get it?

        C) I can smell your cheesin through my monitor.

        D) They do not happen on the iphone.

        p.s. dumb f uck.

    • Mike

      BleedMagenta, you are pretty misinformed. I’d be willing to bet that the only articles you have read about the FTC charges and TMO conduct are from TMONEWS. Perhaps you should spend some time on what the real issues are how TMO has not taken the honest steps to repay the customers that it cheated. They went to great lengths to take steps to avoid paying people back. TMO knew these premium services were a problem several years back, officially sayed they stopped the practice but continued anyway. Click on the link and you can read the entire case that the FTC has made against TMO.
      http://www.ftc.gov/system/files/documents/cases/140701tmobilecmpt.pdf

      • BleedMagenta

        Mike, I get the allegations. The main argument is that tmo charged, unbeknownst to customer for third party charges, failed to fully consolidate those charges, and in turn took a small profit. Cool, guess what? Same thing for Company A, B, and C – If it’s proven that this was a calculated and deliberate strategy (which it wasn’t/isn’t).

        Why is tmo being targeted? I don’t know, politics man. These charges don’t just mysteriously incur on a customers bill. It’s an ad, a link (in an add/sms) or a child that grabs a phone and goes tapping on things that initiates the sub. Customers just believe they were misinformed and “cramming/feature slamming” took place. You’re talking about the general public here man. A vast majority of individuals (which I see on a daily basis) all doing the same thing – coming in discovering these charges months into their bills because of poor monitoring habits which stems from a lack of financial awareness.

        As the investigation continues I promise you man, relax, sit back and enjoy your coffee, NOTHING will happen because nothing by industry standards has been done incorrectly here involving these charges. I know this because I have worked the front lines at two major carriers which are corporate locations. I have seen these charges time and time again – less in the last couple years since handling by both third party vendors and corporation has become more proactive. When they do show up, both companies handled them the EXACT same way.

  • Singleweird

    “what is this premium service charge on my bill??” did you send a text to a number that you saw on tv to download ringtones? “oh, yeah.” have a nice day.