June 30 is deadline for T-Mobile ‘cramming’ refunds

HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH)– The warning is out. You have just 15 more days to apply for a refund from ‘T-Mobile.’ If you had wireless service from that company at any time in the past five years, you may have been overcharged and a refund could be coming your way.

The company engaged in what’s known as ‘cramming.’

“T-Mobile charged customers knowing that it was receiving money, and in fact receiving a cut for third party charges that those consumers didn’t want, didn’t order, didn’t request, and didn’t consent to receive,” said Sen. Dick Blumenthal (D-Connecticut).

The company has agreed to reimburse customers $90 million, but you must apply for the refund by the end of this month.

The charges were disguised in bills with obscure technical sounding language.  “Making no hint that it was for ‘ring tones,’ or ‘celebrity gossip,’ or ‘horoscope advice,’ but simply called ‘user charges,” Blumenthal said.

‘T-Mobile’ agreed to the settlement with the federal government back in December and was supposed to inform all affected customers, but the fear is that many bilked customers may have fallen through the cracks.

“Consumers must not be charged for goods and services they did not authorize whether on their ‘smart phones,’ shopping ‘on line,’ or in a ‘brick and mortar store,” said Bill Efron, Director of the Northeast Office of the Federal Trade Commission.  

Adds Evan Preston of the Connecticut Public Interest Research Group, “The more people who seek these refunds, it’s a better incentive to companies in the future to do the right thing and charge people fairly.”

Under the federal agreement, ‘T-Mobile’ must get expressed consent from subscribers before placing charges on their bills and ensure that consumers are notified before the extra charges appear and provide information on how third party charges can be blocked.

To apply for the rebate go to:  www.t-mobilerefund.com.

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