The United States Federal Trade Commission has filed a complaint against wireless carrier T-Mobile, accusing the carrier of charging their customers for unauthorized SMS subscriptions that delivered information such as horoscopes and celebrity gossip at prices as high as $9.99 per month.
The FTC charges that T-Mobile continued to bill customers, even after it was clear the charges were fraudulent. T-Mobile reportedly collected 35-40% of the amount charged to its customers. According to the FTC, T-Mobile made “hundreds of millions of dollars” doing this.
The FTC suggests that the charges were unauthorized because of the large number of T-Mobile customers that sought refunds. The company has allegedly been receiving a large volume of consumer complaints about the matter since 2012. T-Mobile is also said to have made the charges hard to detect on customers bills.
The company also failed to provide a full refund to customers once the charges were discovered. The complaint asks for a court order to prevent the carrier from continuing to charge customers for the fraudulent services, and to provide full refunds.
T-Mobile has yet to comment on the FTC’s complaint.
(UPDATE) – T-Mobile has released a statement in which it calls the FTC’s complaint “unfounded and without merit.” T-Mobile says that it stopped billing for Premium SMS services in 2013, and has launched a “proactive program” to provide full refunds for customers.