AT&T to Pay Refunds to 2.7 Million Mobile Phone Cramming Victims

"Hey, let's all read over our monthly wireless bills instead of face-swapping on Snapchat," said no one, ever.

Satisfied customers

Score yet another victory for consumers, thanks to the tireless work of the Federal Trade Commission.  In a recent statement, the FTC announced that it is providing over $88 million in refunds to more than 2.7 million current and former AT&T customers who had third-party charges added to their mobile bills without their consent.  This tactic, which I’ve discussed here and here, is known as “mobile cramming.”  Many of the charges showed up on phone bills disguised as horoscopes, love tips, or “fun facts.”  Crammers used the same techniques that many charities have now widely adopted to raise quick funds after a natural disaster–having people send a text message to a certain short code that results in a $10 charge on their next phone bill.  T-Mobile was forced to cough up at least $90 million to customers in 2015 after FTC regulators settled with the company.  Like T-Mobile, AT&T collected about 35 percent of every crammed charge that wound up on customers’ bills and was slow to respond to complaints about the unwanted charges.  The refunds to consumers relate to 2014 settlements with AT&T, and the companies behind two of the cramming schemes, Tatto and Acquinity.

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About Justin Kwong

An attorney in the Twin Cities and adjunct professor at William Mitchell College of Law where I teach a seminar on the law of virtual worlds.
This entry was posted in Mobile Devices, Regulation and Rule-making, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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