By Marguerite Reardon, C/NET
T-Mobile will pay at least $90 million to settle a complaint filed against it by the Federal Trade Commission, which accuses the wireless operator of cramming unwanted charges on customer bills.
The FTC announced that a deal had been reached with T-Mobile on Friday. In addition to refunding customers, T-Mobile will pay a $4.5 million fine to the Federal Communications Commission, as well as an additional $18 million in fines and penalties to attorney generals in every state plus the District of Columbia.
“Mobile cramming is an issue that has affected millions of American consumers,” FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez said in a statement. “Consumers should be able to trust that their mobile phone bills reflect the charges they authorized and nothing more.”
Cramming is a practice by which mobile operators add charges to mobile bills from third-party companies without the knowledge or consent of subscribers.
The Federal Trade Commission has been aggressively pursuing companies it has suspected of engaging in this illegal practice. The FTC has filed at least seven complaints against companies involving mobile cramming since 2013. One of those cases was a complaint against T-Mobile filed in July.