T-Mobile has made a lot of headlines over the past year with deals and plans that can save customers money. But, it turns out the company could have been costing you a lot of extra dough, too, by illegally "cramming" extra charges onto cellphone bills. Now, T-Mobile has agreed to pay out $90 million in refunds to make up for its bad behavior.
Mobile cramming occurs when service providers add extra fees from third-party companies onto your phone bills for services you didn't ask for. The companies claim the fees are for premium services, but they usually amount to nothing more than text message spam. This tactic isn't new - AT&T got caught doing the same thing earlier this year.
While most of the charges go to the third-party company, cramming helps out the service providers, too. T-Mobile took 40% of every cramming charge added to customer accounts. That's why it's now paying $90 million to consumer and millions more to federal and state governments. And, it's not alone. Another major provider could be forced to pay up soon, too.
If the actual amount of money lost by consumers goes over $90 million, then T-Mobile could be forced to pay even more. It also has to pay $4.5 million to the FCC and $18 million to all 50 state governments. Click here to learn how to get your refund from T-Mobile.
This is such a big problem because most people don't even notice their bill is being crammed with fake charges. Bills can be over 100 pages long, with the false charges hidden deep inside the document. Take a look at a sample from the FTC.
The photo above includes sample cramming charges from an actual T-Mobile bill.
Sprint customers could be the next ones in line for a payday. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau recently announced it's suing the company because of cramming allegations.