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FTC sends $88 million in mobile cramming refunds

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Today, the FTC is returning more than $88 million to AT&T customers who were charged by other companies for “premium text message services.” These charges appeared on AT&T phone bills even though the customers hadn’t agreed to the charges — that’s according to the FTC, the Federal Communications Commission, all 50 states and the District of Columbia. In fact, many people weren’t even aware they had been paying — up to $9.99 per month — for services like ringtones, wallpapers, and text message subscriptions.

When a company adds charges to your phone bill without your consent, it’s called cramming. The FTC’s settlement with AT&T represents the most money ever returned in a cramming case. More than 2.7 million people will get refunds — that’s more than in any case administered by the FTC to date.

So, how does $88 million make its way from the FTC to you? Here are some of the highlights:

  • First, the FTC hired a refund administrator to manage the process.
  • Over the next 6 months, we accepted more than 5 million claims from AT&T customers. (Some people submitted more than one claim.)
  • As required by the court, the refund administrator made sure that each claim was valid and calculated how best to distribute the funds.
  • The FTC also added money recovered in two related FTC cases, Tatto and Acquinity, against companies that added charges to people’s phone bills.
  • The court required that an independent auditor review each step of the process. Once the auditor approved the final plan, the refund administrator prepared, printed, and mailed checks and letters.

Here’s what’s next:

  • Current AT&T customers will get a credit on their bill within the next 75 days.
  • Former AT&T customers will receive a check. The first round of checks was mailed today.

If you have questions about your refund, you can reach the refund administrator at 1-877-819-9692.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit


Refund please.

Had three lines.

please details me

I have had this with ATand T uverse internet.

I had att also.please refund me i had 2 lines.


That sure sounds good to me been with them Fifteen Years and still pay too much, Good Job keep up the Good Work

I have been with ATT since Cell phones started with the brick. Do we get more refund because we have been with them so long, or everyone gets the same, WE have three lines.

I'm sure you would get refunded what you were charged! It doesn't matter if you've been with them since dinosaurs were born if you were not charged these fees you will not get a refund! If you were charged and many times, you should get Bach all charges. This isn't a settlement for being a customer! It's a settlement for being charged for thing without your consent, that YOU did not subscribe to. So how long you've been with them does not matter, if you did not get charged these fees the FCC sued them over. Personally I think we should all sue them for recording and selling every single call and text message. Since it violates our constitutional rights of privacy. Not to mention I pay them for their cellular service, NOT to spy on me and then sell that info for even more money!

I been over charge for internet and my cell i didn't recieve anything this man from att put my phone with my internet and i didn't him to do that next thing i no my internet was with my cell phone i have a time get out of it my bill was so high i couldn't pay for it i would like some kind of refund thanks

I had being paying tons of dollars to AT&T.

Glad to know AT&T is paying up. This type of behavior from ANY company is reprehensible. That said, customers should always give their monthly statements a good review just for this reason, if nothing else.

Please send refund x4 no we can stop leagal action right?x4 years right?

looks like we waited all this time for $31.00. very disappointing.

What if one had multiple phone numbers within their family plan. Does that account get one refund or multiple refunds?

You will get only one refund per account, but your refund amount is based on the total unauthorized charges added to your account (including all phone lines) within the timeframe.

Please contact me at 786-xxx xxxx. I have several lines since 2009 until last year

We don't publish private phone numbers in the blog. You can call the FTC to report a problem at 1-877-382-4357.

att sent me 97 cents

That is really sad. I bet you probably paid hundreds in over charges to get that 97 cents. ATT has been over billing for decades. They are crooks.

I never received any information about this. I am a former att consumer. I should be included in this settlement. I was with this company 1999 until 2014 or 2015. They never notified me. Funny how the bills always arrived but no information arrived about money the owe me.

Same here. Just was told I am too late. We paid $400 a month for bundled services and I just found out about this. Sad that they are keeping OUR money for these highly fraudulent billing practices

I live overseas now but I was an AT&T customer for 15yrs up until 2012. Should I be getting a refund and how can I get it?

I hope I get a refund. they screw me every month!

att has been bilking the general public for so long, this is just a slap on the wrist. Personally, I believe the entire upper management (especially the "board"), should be jailed (one day for every dollar stolen) and any money, property and/or stock of theirs should be distributed to homeless and domestic shelters...without any excuses or loophole appeals!!!
It would re-institute honor and ethics in the business community.

Great idea

Dear sir thank for report

What about unlimited data throttling? They should pay up for that too.

AT & T was a nightmare for my children & I, Every mouth there'd be an excuse why my bill was over 200., I begain living pay check to pay check, paying what I could to keep our phones on. It was like having a car payment without the car. I finally bailed, I'm happy for those who get some of their money back. Thank You for exposing them.

I can relate

@dc: I'm very disappointing too. Last night I wrote a comment here; but my comment was censored because I asked several questions that seem not pleasing to the FTC. Maybe this comment will be censored too.

I've been with AT&T for years. I never received a notice to file a claim.

Only AT&T customers who had unauthorized third party charges added to their bills were eligible for a refund. AT&T was required to notify all current customers who had third party charges.

I want to say I got a check for like $2.00 a few months ago...but it was to hilarious to the credit's will def come in handy...

I think they should have to refund the 5 bucks they would charge a customer for paying their bill in cash! If this country cant accept its 'own' money, than the USA has a huge problem.

Yes!! Agreed! When will the FTC and govt give us consumers remedy?

What time period does this cover? I was an AT&T customer up to approximately 2006.

What if I am a customer of AT&T still and have been for over 30+ years. Will I get some money back? Is this something I had to ask for?

Only AT&T customers who had unauthorized third party charges added to their bills were eligible for a refund. AT&T was required to notify all current customers who had third party charges.

Is this why I wasn’ contacted...because I am a FORMER customer for 15 years at $400 a month? Criminal!

The refunds were for people who had mobile phones and had third-party charges added to their mobile phone bills without their consent. The refunds to consumers relate to 2014 settlements with AT&T, and the companies behind two of the cramming schemes, Tatto and Acquinity. Refunds were issued to people who filed claims with the FTC, that were confirmed and audited.

I'll be looking for my refund. Been with ATT ever since they took over Cingular. 5 mobile phones. ...

why only $31 if had been going on a long time.....they are taking advantage of us all over again.....disgrace....

This refund I'd greatly appreciated & well deserved!

$31 ??? How much are the lawyers getting??? It's ridiculous to only pay customers such a small amount. We are the ones who paid all that - they should at least take off cost of phones - like I-phone 7.


Thanks FTC for fighting for the consumers. We won't be seeing this kind of thing once Trump takes office I am sure.

not that this moment

A whole $31! What about late fees that they would have collected. What about the other uses the money could have been used for. I mean literally this is about theft to a certain extent but whatever. I'll take it though, because we are lucky they even gave that out. WHAT A JOKE

Did not hear a thing about this and have had AT&T for years!


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