The FCC negotiated settlements with both T-Mobile and AT&T over mobile “cramming”, an act carriers know all too well by sneaking recurring monthly charges onto your bill through ringtones, trivia, horoscopes and more.
In October, AT&T agreed to pay $105 million to settle up with the FCC. T-Mobile agreed to pay $90 million earlier this month. The FCC will take some of the settlement for its own gain – it’s the government after all – and some will be distributed back to customers.
During a press conference on Monday, US Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., who was on the Senate committee investigating the situation, said: “Those carriers have been profiting from those false, fraudulent fees to the tune of 30 to 40 cents of every dollar, and that is not only wrong, it’s illegal, and it should produce refunds for consumers, but it won’t automatically do so.”
The FCC and the mobile carriers have set-up web pages so customers can find out if they’re entitled to any money, free of charge.
For AT&T customers, you have until May 1, 2015 to apply for a refund. AT&T customers can visit this webpage and enter their phone number and email address to find out if they’re eligible for a refund.
For T-Mobile customers, you have until April 30, 2015 to apply for a refund. T-Mobile’s process is a bit more complicated, but still not too bad. There’s full directions, but essentially you’ll need to request an account summary, scan over your charges, mark the charges that you did not authorize, and send it back to T-Mobile.
If you’re a Sprint customer, it won’t be long until you can apply for the same thing, as the FCC recently imposed the same fine on the number three carrier as AT&T.