• Germany's news in English

T-Mobile to pay $90 mn over US fraud charges

AFP · 20 Dec 2014, 08:51

Published: 20 Dec 2014 08:51 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

The Federal Communications Commission said the fine would resolve an investigation into allegations that the company's US unit billed customers millions of dollars in unauthorized third party subscriptions and premium text messaging services.

"Cramming is a significant problem. For too long, millions of consumers have been scammed -- billed for bogus charges on their phone bills for services they didn't request," said Tom Wheeler, FCC chairman, in a statement.

The agency said the settlement agreement will provide compensation for T-Mobile US consumers victimized by cramming, and help protect all of the company's customers from bogus third-party charges in the future.

Under the terms of the settlement, T-Mobile will pay a minimum of $67.5 million to fund and operate a consumer program that will give refunds to victims of its unlawful cramming activities  - and if consumer claims exceed that amount, T-Mobile will continue to pay them.

T-Mobile also will pay $18 million to the governments of all 50 states and the District of Columbia (Washington), plus a $4.5 million fine to the US Treasury.

Included consumer protections in the settlement require that T-Mobile no longer offer commercial third-party "premium SMS" charges and that it must obtain "express informed consent" from customers prior to allowing third-party charges on their phone bills.

Story continues below…

Shares in T-Mobile US were up 1.0 percent at $26.17 in afternoon trade on the New York Stock Exchange.

In October, AT&T agreed to pay $105 million to resolve FCC wireless cramming allegations.

For more news from Germany, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Germans think they're fit, but they're really couch potatoes
Photo: DPA.

There's been an increase in the number of Germans who define themselves as "fit", but their lifestyle choices don't quite match this self-perception.

Intensive farming 'endangers a third of German species'
Photo: DPA

There are 32,000 species of animal, plant and mushroom life native to Germany. Due to intensive farming methods, one in every three of these is endangered, a new report shows.

German hospital uses therapy to 'treat' paedophiles
A poster from the campaigne "Don't offend", which offers therapy to paedophiles. The sign reads "Do you love kids more than you'd prefer? There's help." Photo: DB Scholz & Friends / DPA.

A unique German initiative is offering therapy to paedophiles to control their urges, with the aim of getting them help before they offend.

Minister: 'no tolerance' for clowns after chainsaw attack
Photo: DPA

Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière has called for a zero-tolerance approach to 'killer clowns' after a series of attacks culminating in two teenagers being chased by a clown wielding a chainsaw.

Baby who was auctioned on eBay taken away from father
Photo: DPA.

A German court ruled on Thursday that a man who put his one-month-old baby up for sale on the online auction platform eBay should only be allowed contact with the child under supervision.

Portugal's ruling party calls German minister 'pyromaniac'
Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble. Photo: DPA.

The head of Portugal's ruling Socialists called German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble a "pyromaniac" on Thursday after he criticized Lisbon for reversing course on austerity.

These are Germany's top ten universities
The new library of Freiburg University. Photo: Jörgens.mi / Wikimedia Commons

These are the best universities in all of Germany - at least according to one ranking.

Introducing Swabians - 'the Scots of Germany'
Photo: DPA

These Southern Germans have quite a reputation in the rest of the country.

Woman sues dentist over job rejection for headscarf
Photo: DPA

A dentist in Stuttgart is being taken to court by a woman whom he rejected for a job as his assistant on the basis that she wears a Muslim headscarf.

Isis suspect charged with scouting Berlin attack sites
Photo: DPA

German federal prosecutors said Thursday they had brought charges against a 19-year-old Syrian man accused of having scouted targets in Berlin for a potential attack by the Isis terror group.

10 German clichés that foreigners get very wrong
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
10 ways German completely messes up your English
Germany's 10 most weird and wonderful landmarks
10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd