As you no doubt read earlier this week, the FTC launched an allegation that T-Mobile is guilty of “cramming”. Or – in other terms – charging customers for premium content, hiding the charges in customer bills, and making a tidy profit. And, although it was unsettling for all T-Mo fans and customers, it was – by all accounts – about the bigger picture. But more importantly from a T-Mobile perspective, more than a little late.
Back in November last year, T-Mobile committed to never charging a single cent in premium SMS charges again. In June this year, it launched its widescale refund program to make it possible for customers to get their money back. Something John Legere was keen to point out in his blog post today.
He accuses the FTC of “sensationalizing their story and their news at the expense of T-Mobile’s reputation” and of his own.
Despite the exaggeration of the FTC, this was neither a big nor important business for us, and their financial claims are incredibly overstated. Additionally, those third-party content business operators are pretty much out of business. This was an easy Un-carrier decision!
Three key points arose in the blog post, which you should all take time to read.
- T-Mobile is not currently participating in any kind of cramming. Although it was – along with all other major carriers – carrying premium SMS service from 2009-2013. Because of the high number of third party fraudsters they announce that they would no longer be offering Premium SMS services. At all.
- T-Mobile will continue to only bill customers for what they want, and what they have purchased. “No Excuses!”
- To ensure that there was no unsettled business regarding premium services, the Proactive Refund Program was launched on June 10. Marketing teams and CS have all been instructed to “double down their outreach effort to all potentially affected – current and past – who believe they were inappropriately billed.”
This new phase of “doubling down” will start in the next few days, in an effort to make sure that anyone who was charged for premium SMS services gets their money back.
All in all, I think it’s good to see John Legere reacting so passionately. We all knew – or should have known – about the Premium SMS refund program. It’s great to hear that the company’s going to be trying harder in the near future to ensure every customer affected gets their money back. I don’t see many other carriers following the same path..