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AT&T’s $105 million “cramming” settlement leads to refunds

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Ongoing efforts by the FTC and its federal and state partners to stop mobile cramming have resulted in a whopping $105 million dollar settlement with AT&T — the biggest to date with a prominent mobile phone carrier. Even better news for affected AT&T customers? They might be eligible for a refund. 

According to the FTC, AT&T Mobility, LLC allegedly charged consumers’ mobile phone bills for third-party subscriptions or services that they never ordered or authorized. Many consumers weren’t aware they had been paying — up to $9.99 per month — for seemingly random horoscope text messages, flirting tips, celebrity gossip, wallpaper or ringtones that showed up on their phones.

How were consumers supposed to know about the charges? According to the FTC, AT&T didn’t make it easy. The complaint alleges the phone bills sent to consumers were deceptive because the company lumped together all the charges to make it look like everything was related to AT&T’s mobile phone services. So when a consumer saw the overall balance due, the hidden charges were hard to detect. Even consumers who regularly checked their phone bill line by line every month missed them.

So what’s the bottom line for AT&T consumers affected by the settlement?

  • AT&T will make sure from now on that they have your consent before billing you for third-party charges. 
  • If you contact AT&T about unauthorized third-party charges on your bill, they will provide a refund unless the company has information you consented to the charge.
  • AT&T will continue offering consumers the option to block all third-party charges. Other phone carriers, not just AT&T, offer third-party blocking service for free. Ask your phone carrier about services to block these charges.

Consumers can find out more information about the refund process and submit claims by visiting FTC.gov/att. Unsure if you are eligible for a refund? Contact the FTC’s refund contractor at 1-877-819-9692 for more information. And remember, the FTC never requires consumers to pay money or give financial information to get a refund check.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

Comments

well I guess the joke is on us $0.75 or cents to a penny refunds? of course the liability on them is minor but they do make sure to charge you for data YOU DID NOT approve of if they feel you need it. They talked me into removing the unlimited "because I didnt not really use it" and now they are sending me unapproved texts for unapproved charges. They wonder why the FCC is on their tail. Working on leaving them soon.

The FTC hasn't sent refunds yet in the AT&T matter.

Millions of consumers submitted claims. The claims are being screened and reviewed. The FTC will update the AT&T Refunds page when new information is available.

Do I have money coming? Confirmation #: 44..... Control #: 37..... Dated: 2013-05-24 16:28:57

The FTC hasn't sent refunds yet in the AT&T matter.

Millions of consumers submitted claims. The claims are being screened and reviewed. The FTC will update the AT&T Refunds page when new information is available.

How long until we can expect to receive our settlement? Thank you

Millions of consumers submitted claims. The claims are being screened and reviewed. The FTC will update the AT&T Refunds page when new information is available.

I look at the page about once every other month. I have not seen anything. And may I ask how you find out if you qualify for a refund?

I really don't understand why, that when you are told that you do qualify, for this refund, it's not that you the consumer is getting a refund, it's the company that owes you money, who really gets YOUR refund, it does not make any sense to give the refund back to the company for whom was mentioned in this suit, AND NOT YOU, CONSUMER, the money owed to the consumer, goes back to the company if you are still with that company, and if your not with the company,YOU are the ones who get your check in the mail, so for all those who are still with your same phone company, DO NOT EXPECT A CHECK IN YOUR MAILBOX, YOU will be waiting a long time, so I would love to know how a company who is has been sued, gets the money owed back to you (us) the consumer, SO FOR ALL THOSE CUSTOMERS THAT ARE STILL WITH YOUR PHONE COMPANY, WE HALSO HAVE THE RIGHT TO REQUEST FOR THAT REFUND BE RETURNED, TO YOU (US) and not the phone company, I SAY WE STAND TOGETHER TO GET OUR REFUND RETURNED TO US in OUR mailboxes, as the customer that IS NOT with their phone company anymore,, WE DESERVE OUR REFUND, WE WANT OUR REFUND, GIVE US OUR REFUND, KENTUCKY WOMAN

It is now Nov.7th 2015 , I filed this claim in January , 2015 I have yet to receive any refund or payment, has anyone received payment yet , this some BS !!

ATT said it would take 9mths for a refund. It's been a year now. Please treat the customers right.

Today is Saturday...the day after black Friday in 2015....to me the patience of waiting the 9 months was over about a year & a half ish ago, right? snd, Does Anyone know if we will have a chance for direct deposit or just a paper check thru snail mail? And, since I'm still an AT&T customer, they can't just credit my account, can thry? I pay my bill every month 6 days BEFORE the due date. I guess I'm just asking anyone if they know ANYTHING? 1 answer would be better than what I know right now, which is not a damn thing. HELP ME, if you can. Hubby has terminal cancer & money is soo tight. So I'd like to receive our refund while we can still use it.

Hi, I didnt get my refund because I moved. How do I get that taken care of? When I call the number listed it just rings and rigns.

As of 12/7/15, refunds have not been distributed. The FTC will update the AT&T Refunds page when new information is available.

I do not understand the delay in distributing refund checks. At this point there is no excuse. It is not okay to issue a computer generated stock answer:
"Millions of consumers submitted claims. The claims are being screened and reviewed. The FTC will update the AT&T Refunds page when new informatiBridget Small - FTC | September 14, 2015 | reply
Millions of consumers submitted claims. The claims are being screened and reviewed. The FTC will update the AT&T Refunds page when new information is available."
We as consumers deserve a more detailed response which includes a specific date when distribution of refund checks will begin -this is not complicated or too much to ask for at this point. If delays continue then we should have the right to assess penalties or late fees -as this is what we are billed and expected pay if our AT&T payment becomes past due. Thus our refund checks are now past due (the 9 months are up) and payments to consumers are due immediately!

The claim filing deadline date was May 1, 2015. 

The final status of claims won’t be known until the Spring of 2016, after the claim processing and an independent audit are complete.

I filed a claim before the May/2015 deadline, and I haven't heard anything yet.

Regardless of the refunds due date, if AT&T owe some refunds I want it because they shouldn’t have been charging consumers those charges.

the thing everyone does not realize is that the over charged money was but in to the bank to draw interest .. so att has already made money off this overcharge ''. We should ask for the money they made with our money too

I joined this class action suit on 12.2.14, and was given a confirmation number. Where/How do I find out if I'm entitled to any settlement?

The deadline for submitting claims was May 1, 2015. Many people submitted claims. We won't know the final status of claims until the spring of 2016, after the claims are processed and an independent audit is complete.

 

I dont understand why these At&T refunds are taking so long -we were promised that after we applied, we would expect to receive a refund in 9 months.
I am very fustrated with this slow process. I feel victimized again. We have a right to have our money back in a timely and by expediate means- after all this was criminal stealing of our hard earned dollars. It is outrageous and unacceptable and FTC needs to do more.

The claim filing deadline date was May 1, 2015. The final status of claims won’t be known until the Spring of 2016, after the claim processing and an independent audit are complete.

yes. at first it was told to be Feb. 2016 but just read that post update on the link I use from the confirmation of my claim letter. One more reason to look forward to Spring 2016

How can I find out or track my refund

The claims are being screened and reviewed. The FTC will update the AT&T Refunds page when new information is available.

What's the status of the refunds???

The deadline for submitting claims was May 1, 2015. Many people submitted claims. We won't know the final status of the claims until the spring of 2016, after the claims are processed and an independent audit is complete.

I'm glad the FTC caught this and I was able to file the claim with time before it was expired. Now I just wait to get my check or the overages.

Don't use the personal diary note or to note it down is another way they get your imfo when you hook your phone into your computer then all of a sudden wondering why you are having problems with your computer that is how and I want to complain about that if it wasn't for me knowing what I know about fix my own computer it would have cost me a lot but I still think they should have to pay up for the personal time you have to take out of your day to fix your computer when they hack into it and your the one fixing it now I don't use personal diary apps I am even afraid to hook my phone into my computer to download my photos because all your imfo is stolen it's like Window 10 is what I have a complaint about on my phone it took me hours to fix my computer to remove windows 10 I would like to have windows 10 removed from my phone not safe :) Thank you!!!!

I got charged for going over my data. Me and my husband and we live on a ranch and we had wifi. So our cell phones never really picked up to make calls. But we used our phones to get on the internet under wifi. Our bill was getting higher and higher . I finally could not pay for it anymore,

when will i get a check from the att third party billing settlement my address is columbia south carolina 29205

The deadline for submitting claims was May 1, 2015. Many people submitted claims. We won't know the final status of the claims until the spring of 2016, after the claims are processed and an independent audit is complete.

after multiple full on illegal practices and rediculous amounts of time and money to effectively communicate and resolve any much less all of my issues as one single solitary alaskan atnt prisoner. ...I sincerely would like to become the famous one to destroy all aspects of the most infamously rich thieves in phone history ....if only we could class.act a forum to disect and disperse this comapany piece by piece and securely remain in the balances of "rewards"...made payable to the next unknown amounts of millions or billions of consumers still waiting for their own pre awarded claim settlement.
last december I callled the so called claim line to check stats on my claim, the lady said aftetr I simply spoke ..hi I would like to check on the claim status of my case..(.no more than one sentence ) I was able to get out of my mouth when she smoothely interrupted me clearly stating that she had no information on the case whatsoever that I needed to call back in the fall ..(mind you, may1 2015 filing deadline and all future online and other information about the same time frame for expectations of any kind for information regarding this matter. ..will not be available any sooner than fall 2015 meaning october) and it was now december at the time I places my first call to them regarding my claim check. to date ....I have gotten no answer no onformation nor do I have a great deal of luck to my surprise of getting any sort of credible customer service and support for anything with atnt is reduced to a sickening absolute zero in the world of difference between business and legality
of neglegent practice. ill never figure out what the hell is a very good way to solve a problem with massively affected people in such matters .?????any offers of experience or even advice???

Hi....I submitted my claim for the FTC v AT&T suit that is currently going on. Anyway, I have called 4-5 times in the past year, and gotten updated information. I called toll free number again and talked to a gentleman, and now all of a sudden they can't find me in the system. I WANT TO KNOW WHY....I submitted my claim long before the May 1 deadline. All the times I called before, I was in the system....but why can't they find me now?

You may want to check again to see if the company can locate your record. After an audit and after the FTC finishes processing the claims, the FTC will post information about the claims.

I submitted a claim last year for this scam, but never heard back. Is there a way to check the status of my claim?

The FTC hired Epiq Systems to process refund requests for this case. We won't know  the final status of claims  until the Spring of 2016 after the claim processing and independent audit are completed.

ever since i signed up for the AT&T service on my friends account, i have never ever paid the same amount i was told to be paying each month, always going up and up and if i tried calling them to explain they will rather tell me its a legitimate charge and end up hanging up the call on me, even if i walked up into their retail office they will ask me to call for any problem i have, and one day i checked my bill and found out they charge me for roaming service for using in Canada meanwhile i have never being to Canada.

Well it is May 2016 in a few days and neither I nor others I know have received a penny. WHAT GIVES?!?

Complaint about AT&T internet service I has been received hundreds of call from this areas code: The 846,746,546,566,446 area code appears to be an invalid, it may be -spoofed. Phone- calls or area code that is not existent, listed as being unassigned area code, it is likely a telemarketer is spoofing the area code and phone number to prevent the call from being blocked or ignored originating from within those area code areas often turn out to be a telemarketer, a telephone survey or bill collector trying to disguise their real phone number. 

The area codes and prefix, are not officially registered with the North American numbering plan and No further information is available for those numbers. I notify ATT asking to blocker this numbers to protect my peace of mind and easily blocking and stop all annoying and unwanted phone calls, but they said they can’t. Today, Friday 3/11/16, I called the Police 50 precinct in Bronx told me there's nothing they can do. She said the number didn't actually exist and it was probably a 'voice over ip'. She said that call my telephone company I could file a complaint with the No Call List I think all this unauthorized and unwanted calls violates the FCC rules, I file a complaint with B.B.B. to accomplish with the rules and impose fines against AAT&T for violating call rules, an ordered restitution of the damages caused. The Telephone Consumer Protection Act, the Federal Communications Commission helping consumers stop unwanted calls, text messages. FCC rules under TCPA: • Require anyone making a telephone solicitation call to your home to provide his or her name, the name of the person or entity on whose behalf the call is being made, and a telephone number or address at which that person or entity can be contacted. • Prohibit telephone solicitation calls to your home before 8 am or after 9 pm • require telemarketers to comply immediately with any do-not-call request you make during a call.

It's been over two years and we were supposed to receive our refunds in Spring 2016. Well here it is Spring of 2016. I wanted to see if anyone had any information on the refunds?

During the time this was going on I had three phone lines and an outrageous bill. Each time I called about it I was told it was data usage. I now view every line item on anything I purchase or sign up for. Waiting on refund!

I am just now getting a check for 5$ i was with them for 5 years my bills were 300 a mth for 3 lines , i moved and i fwd my mail to my new address but for some reason i didnt get it, my mom called and gave me a letter with a check in it why is , who can i call to talk to

The FTC has not yet sent refunds to AT&T customers. If you have questions about the check you got, you could contact the party that wrote the check.

When will you start sending refunds?

The FTC hired Epiq Systems to process refund requests for this case. Final statuses of claims won’t be known until the summer of 2016 when the claim processing and independent audit is complete.

If you have questions, call 1-877-819-9692.

really? which spring? I don't think this ATT took this lawsuit seriously and are mocking the FTC on top of all the consumers. My bill is due every 1st of the month and they are quick to send you reminders via text, email and mail with a warning to cut your bill if you don't pay. But a refund is never available..whatever I think this is a scam on top of another scam. CC

Just wondering when att refunds will go out.

I don't know why att think they ard good. If you want to order a phone be aware of this. Make sure you know which one warrior insurance to deal with it. A used phone will cost you $500 and I don't think so. All I am saying be careful they are just used you. I am not going to argue with them.

STRANGE IT WAS THE FALL OF 2015/THEN SPRING OF 2016 NOW THEY HAVE CHANGED IT TO THE SUMMER IF 2016 ATT CN HOLD THAT MONEY AND COLLECT INTEREST ON IT WHY PAY WHAT THEY HAVE BEEN ORDERED TO PAY

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