In The News

Settlement With the Commissioner of Competition has Rogers Refunding Unwanted Prem Text Message Charges

Rogers was the first to announce today that an agreement had been reached with the Canadian Competition Bureau (CCB) to refund customers that were unknowingly charged for premium text messaging programs offered by Jesta/Jamster between January 1, 2011 and August 31, 2013 and by Mobile Messenger between January 1, 2011 and September 30, 2012.  These premium text messages were primarily a monthly subscription for games, quizzes, fact, horoscopes and ringtones.  The refunds will apply to both Rogers and Fido customers and will cost Rogers an estimated $5.42 million according to Patricia Trott, Director of Public Affairs at Rogers.

Raj Doshi, Rogers EVP for Wireless, said, “We’ve worked with the Competition Bureau to come to an agreement because it’s the right thing to do.  We heard from customers in the past that they had concerns with these third-party premium text services and between 2011 and 2013, we took action to protect our customers.  Last summer we stopped the program all together and today we’re going even further.” ... Open Article

FTC Alleges T-Mobile Crammed Bogus Charges onto Customers’ Phone Bills

T-Mobile Was Aware For Years that Charges Were Not Authorized by its Customers

In a complaint filed today, the Federal Trade Commission is charging mobile phone service provider T-Mobile USA, Inc., with making hundreds of millions of dollars by placing charges on mobile phone bills for purported “premium” SMS subscriptions that, in many cases, were bogus charges that were never authorized by its customers.

The FTC alleges that T-Mobile received anywhere from 35 to 40 percent of the total amount charged to consumers for subscriptions for content such as flirting tips, horoscope information or celebrity gossip that typically cost $9.99 per month. According to the FTC’s complaint, T-Mobile in some cases continued to bill its customers for these services offered by scammers years after becoming aware of signs that the charges were fraudulent. … Open Article

U.S. Accuses T-Mobile of Overbilling

WASHINGTON — T-Mobile, which sees itself as a new kind of carrier, now stands accused of an old-fashioned practice — overbilling its customers.

The Federal Trade Commission on Tuesday brought a legal action accusing T-Mobile of illegally earning hundreds of millions of dollars by placing bogus charges on customers’ cellphone bills for premium texting services that the consumers never ordered. Regulators said that T-Mobile had been allowing the third-party charges, and taking a hefty cut of the revenue, since 2009.

The case is one of the largest yet brought by regulators against a major telecommunications company for unauthorized billing, known as “cramming.” The practice has been relatively common for landlines, but recently began to appear on mobile bills.  … Open Article

Unknown Charges End Up on Valley Couple's Cell Phone Bill

Could you be charged for something every month and not know it? How about if it was mixed in with all of those charges on your cell phone bill? Well, that's what Betty and Rudy Beltran of Maricopa says happened to them. They were being charged monthly for a service called "Jamster." … Open Article

Class Action Settlement Announced for Third Party Mobile Content Charges

A group of US mobile content providers, including Cylon, Cellfish Media, Predicto Mobile, Too Lazy, the application provider 3C Interactive, and the aggregator OpenMarket, have agreed to settle a number of class action lawsuits against them, involving claims that these companies charged wireless subscribers for "mobile content" without authorization.

The Defendants have denied any wrongful conduct, and the settlement is in no way a judgment or ruling by the Court that any party engaged in any wrongful or illegal conduct. ... Open Article

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