Consumers are being warned by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) that their mobile telephone carrier could be hiding third-party charges on their phone bill. In fact, the FTC is pursuing charges against T-Mobile for doing just that. The FTC claims T-Mobile charged customers for third-party content that the consumer did not know about and did not agree to pay. Examples include charges for monthly subscriptions for wallpaper, ringtones, horoscope texts and celebrity gossip.
The FTC claims that on the first page of the consumer’s bill, T-Mobile includes all third-party charges under a general line item that includes legitimate charges for their services. The itemized list of the charges were not provided to the customer until the pages at the end of the bill. This is commonly referred to as “cramming” charges.
Even worse? T-Mobile continued to charge customers with the third-party costs even after the consumer complained or notified T-Mobile that the charges were not authorized.
If you are concerned that unauthorized charges have been crammed onto your bill, follow these steps:
- Don’t just pay the amount on the front page of your bill. Read every page of your bill, including looking over each of the itemized charges to verify they are legitimate.
- Contact your phone servicer to see if they block third-party charges for free.
- If you discover fraudulent charges, ask your phone carrier for a refund.
- If you use a prepaid phone plan, be sure to check that you are not losing any minutes to pay for unauthorized charges crammed onto your bill. If you discover missing minutes, contact your carrier to find out why the minutes have been deducted from your account.
If you have been the victim of cramming and your phone servicer is not working with you to correct the error, we can help.
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