Popular cellphone service provider T-mobile is under fire for scamming customers through “bogus billing” practices. The company has allegedly collected hundred of millions of dollars by charging customers for subscriptions they never signed up for in a business move known as “cramming.”
“In a process known as ‘third-party billing,’ a phone company places charges on a consumer's bill for services offered by another company, often receiving a substantial percentage of the amount charged. When the charges are placed on the bill without the consumer's authorization, it is known as ‘cramming,’” the Federal Trade Commission reported.
Despite a high volume of complaints, T-mobile claims they were unaware that the subscriptions were scams. "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,” T-Mobile CEO John Legere said.
The FTC remains staunch in their position, however, they are continuing their lawsuit against T-mobile in an attempt to refund the millions worth of bogus billing back to the consumers. They note the primary reason T-mobile has been able to gain 40% of the profit from each of those third-party bills is because many customers were unaware they were being improperly billed in the first place. The hidden charges would be grouped in under other categories on their usual T-mobile bills, hidden and waiting to suck wallets dry.
The FTC’s exposure of this cramming practice by a multi-million dollar company has consumers alerted. Many are now aware that their cellphone provider, T-mobile, or otherwise, may be doing the same. Now is as good a time as any to examine that phone bill.