Remember when we reported that T-Mobile was reportedly fined by the FTC for ‘Cramming’? Cramming is/was an industry practice that revolves around trying to charge customers for services that either don’t exist or services that they simply never authorized. They sneakily will put these charges in people’s bills and most people never notice the increased charges or understand what they’re for.
Well, today, AT&T has settled with the FTC and FCC for doing the exact same thing, to the tune of $105 million, $80 million of which will have to go back to consumers in the forms of refunds. $20 million will be paid out to 50 states and $5 million will be paid to the FCC in the form of fines for violating FCC rules. The FTC will be handling the refunds for AT&T customers that were ‘crammed’ and when you consider that AT&T has 100 million customers, $80 million doesn’t actually sound like that much anymore. In fact, if you were to assume they’ve crammed on average every customer at least once, that’s less than $1 per customer in terms of refund and we all know that AT&T doesn’t cram people for a single dollar.
If you were a customer of AT&T any time between now and January 1st, 2009 (which probably was negotiated by AT&T as a start date) then you might be eligible for a refund from AT&T’s fund for this cramming behavior. AT&T claims that they ended such behavior in December of 2013, very likely after the FTC or FCC sent them a very nice letter informing them that they’d been found out and that consumers had complained. Cramming is a dirty practice and should have been punished more heavily than a $105 million fine. We still don’t know the outcome of T-Mobile’s cramming case, but John Legere lashed out at the FCC and FTC and claimed that these were the big carriers going after T-Mobile, which kind of makes his whole argument invalid since AT&T is one of the two ‘big carriers’.
To claim your refund, just head over to the FTC AT&T Refund page and file your claim by May 1st, 2015.