A complaint was filed with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) earlier, where said complaint claimed that mobile phone service provider T-Mobile USA, Inc., is raking in cash of potentially up to hundreds of millions of dollars through a deceptive act of including charges on mobile phone bills for purported “premium” SMS subscriptions. Apparently, most of the cases happen to be bogus charges that were not authorized by its customers in the first place.
The FTC alleges that T-Mobile would be on the receiving end of a 35% to 40% cut of the total amount charged to consumers when it comes to various subscriptions which carry content that include flirting tips, horoscope information or celebrity gossip, and these tend to cost $9.99 each month. The FTC’s complaint mentioned that there were several cases in the T-Mobile customer list that saw continued billing to its customers for such services despite being aware that such charges were fraudulent for years.
What you see above happens to be excerpts from an actual T-Mobile bill, where the first page will not show third party charges, while summary item ‘Usage charges’ comprises of third party charges for ‘Brain Facts’ text alerts. A good 123 pages after that, located under Premium Services, Other Service Provider Charges, the ‘Brain Facts’ text alerts will then show up in the Description field as 8888906150 BrnStorm23918, citing a total of $9.99.
The FTC hopes that T-Mobile will take the step to repay all of its customers these crammed charges. If you are a T-Mobile customer, do you actually take the time to go through every single page of your phone bill each month? I understand that some bills can go all the way to 50 pages in length, which would have some folks give up after the first few pages. [Press Release]
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