Jul 11, 2014 04:31 AM EDT
It's recently come out that T-Mobile has been perpetuating a series of "bogus charges" against its customers that has resulted in the skimming of hundreds of millions of dollars -- at least that's what the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) says.
Afraid you might have been the victim of such charges? Lucky for you, you can get a refund from T-Mobile. Here's what you have to do.
The first step is to identify these charges. If you have your paper bills saved, great, if not, you can view your billing history online. What you're looking for are charges varying between $2 and $9.99, most likely hidden in the "Use Charges" section. These charges are often accompanied by a company name you've never heard of and followed by a string of cryptic numbers and letters like "8888906150BrnStorm23918." Remember, these "cramming" charges are usually recurring, so if you spot one, chances are it's had its teeth in your wallet for some time.
(Photo : FTC)
Next step is to inform T-Mobile of the charges. You can call up T-Mobile and walk them through the charges at 1-877-453-1304. Don't worry, unlike most customer service refund experiences, this shouldn't be too difficult thanks to the fact the FTC is breathing down T-Mobile's back. If you want to add to the FTC suit, you can do so by calling 1- 877-382-4357 or visiting the FTC's online Complaint Assistant website.
So why all the fuss now if these charges have been going on for some time? The reason is because the FTC filed a lawsuit against T-Mobile Tuesday accusing the carrier of continuing to carry out fraudulent charges, even after the practice was recognized and rejected by the major wireless carrier late last year.
"It's wrong for a company like T-Mobile to profit from scams against its customers when there were clear warning signs the charges it was imposing were fraudulent," said FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez. "The FTC's goal is to ensure that T-Mobile repays all its customers for these crammed charges."
T-Mobile has responded, saying that has been following previously agreed upon guidelines. The company announced in June it was beginning a process of reaching out to affected customers and giving them the opportunity to request a refund. T-Mobile will also be launching a website dedicated to the issue sometime in July.
"If you've been charged for a third-party service you didn't sign up for, it should be easy to get a refund," said Mike Sievert, chief marketing officer for T-Mobile. "If customers were charged for services they didn't want, we'll make it right. That's being the Un-carrier."
"We have seen the complaint filed today by the FTC and find it to be unfounded and without merit. In fact T-Mobile stopped billing for these Premium SMS services last year and launched a proactive program to provide full refunds for any customer that feels that they were charged for something they did not want," reads a response from T-Mobile CEO and president John Legere, who is not at all pleased with the developments.
"We exited this business late last year, and announced an aggressive program to take care of customers and we are disappointed that the FTC has instead chosen to file this sensationalized legal action."
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