FTC and T-Mobile in settlement talks over premium service charge lawsuit

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T-Mobile and the FTC are in talks to settle a lawsuit which alleges the carrier added unauthorized charged to customer phone bills. Both sides asked for the lawsuit to be put on hold for 90 days while they work on a deal which suits both parties.

“The parties are engaged in substantive settlement talks that they believe would resolve this matter and eliminate the need for further litigation,” lawyers for T-Mobile and the FTC said in the filing.

Towards the end of last year, T-Mobile announced that it would start refunding any customers (past or present) for any charges occurred as a result of a Premium SMS service. Whether it was authorized by the customer or not. These services typically included things like horoscopes, news, jokes and all kinds of other content send via text message.

It then followed that up with a commitment to proactively reach out to as many customers as possible. Which is why we were pretty surprised when the FTC decided to aim a lawsuit against T-Mobile for “cramming” back in July. Or, making millions of dollars in unauthorized content delivered to its customers. A move which T-Mo claimed was unfounded and highly sensationalized, and then moved to “double down” on outreach to those customers who were charge unlawfully.

It’s fair to say, the company has worked hard to ensure it does right by its customers. A sentiment echoed by T-Mobile spokeswoman, Anne Marshall in an emailed statement today.

“Our top priority is doing what’s right for our customers,” Anne Marshall, a spokeswoman for T-Mobile, said in an e-mailed statement. “T-Mobile and the FTC jointly filed for a continuance as a matter of ordinary course. We are actively processing refunds through our proactive refund program.”

There’s no real indication of when these settlement talks will be finalized. But from the tone, it would appear that both sides would rather settle it than end up with a potentially expensive court appearance on their hands.

Source: Bloomberg

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  • Yeah it happened to me, too

    I say this tongue in cheek – but with a serious tone – should we now expect a lawsuit for TMO reps adding Jump without permission every time you walk into the store??

    • Micheal Knight

      I think although they are shady about how they do it. Don’t you have to sign for it? Can’t blame them if thier customers are too stupid to read what they are signing.

      • steveb944

        Reminds me of my old retail job ‘just sign, sign, sign…it’s good for you’.

      • Knight Rider

        You don’t have to sign for anything. Its also has happened with customers who ordered over the phone.

        Whats even more stupid is blaming the victims instead of holding TMobile accountable!

        If a rep adds anything without authorization they should be fired especially if it occured multiple times. I don’t know how this isn’t seen as fraud.

        In atleast a dozen of cases customers I’ve read, customers were told they had to have the insurance coverage.

        You’d have to be a complete moron to side with TMobile.

      • Jarobusa

        Have you seen their agreements? They use a 3 point font.

  • TechHog

    Settlement? Now I really doubt the FTC’s motives.

    • CalicoKJ

      Motives? $$$

    • I Like The Sun

      Or the FTC recognized that TMobile put forth steps to fix accused mistake.
      Life isn’t a big conspiracy. If your going to give anti_gov comments atleast be knowledgeable of the case.
      If TMobile thought they were doing what every other carrier was doing the why would initiated the prem sms program voluntarily?? ??

  • donnybee

    This is so stupid. If the premium services were in any way fraudulent, they should have been made illegal a long time ago. Instead T-Mobile, just like every.single.carrier allowed them. T-Mobile was the main one to come out and fight for the customer. They didn’t have to retroactively refund anything.

    The FTC is showing its true colors here. This is so stupid.

    • donniebeedupedoo

      Other carrier’s weren’t collecting profits at the same time telling customers couldn’t block them. Some were spam messages allowed via TMobile. Have you read anything about the case besides here?

      TMobile would of been fined had they not started the refund program and lost the money that way. Maybe the reason case is on hold???

      What’s stupid is commenting without actually doing any brainwork besides reading a post from a source that is slanted towards the accused in all aspects.

  • Matt

    It’s all about revenue for the government. It has nothing to do with anything fair levied against T-Mobile. IMHO, if T-Mobile was proactively fixing the problem, there is no lawsuit to be had

    • Rabbit Fart

      Thats why the case is on hold right now…. The same could be said that if TMobile would have fixed it in the beginning there would of never been a problem.

      There are reasons why TMobile voluntarily refunded customers and the other carrier’s aren’t or haven’t been sued. Google is your friend…