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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.

Tagged with: cell phone, refunds
Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

Comments

How do we know if we should get refund? Been with AT&T since cell phone inception

FTC returned more than $88 million to AT&T customers who were charged by other companies for “premium text message services.”

Current AT&T customers got a credit on their bill. Former AT&T customers got a check. The first round of checks was mailed in December 2016. If you have questions about your refund, you can call the refund administrator at 1-877-819-9692.

I received a refund check but thought it was junk mail and shredded it. How do I get a replacement check?

Where do I inquire about a refund? I have had AT&T since the beginning.

  • Current AT&T customers who were charged by other companies for “premium text message services” got a credit on their bill in December 2016 or January 2017.
  • Former AT&T customers who were charged by other companies for “premium text message services” received a check. The first round of checks was mailed in December, 2016.

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

I am still waiting for a refund..

Still waiting on refund

Are all the non-tax fees legitimate. I did not agree to any of the AT&T fees. I look on my bill (3 lines) and besides the ridiculous Taxes added to each line, there are approximately $4 in 'other charges and fees' per line. This is bilking $12 per month from me forever. I would like to receive this money back, with interest. I have been with AT&T in Eagle Pass, Texas ever since their arrival in this market. I pay for the service and line charges, then they steal from everyone via inventing charges and creatively (and covertly) labeling them as administration fees and such. This is paid for when I pay for the service plan and line charge. Again, they already rip the consumer off enough in the nearly monopolistic business environment that exists and then they pilfer even more via 'line item' hidden charges that were never agreed upon, desired, or accepted. - Dan

Dan - i agree with you 110% - this is why i canceled ATT service and have no dealings with verizon mobile. I've found that all these companies are dishonest but atleast with the one i am with now, i pay less overall.

How do you get the refund?

Current AT&T customers should have gotten a credit on their bill in December 2016 or January 2017. Former AT&T customers should have received a check. The first round of checks were mailed in December 2016 (one year ago). If you have questions about your refund, you can reach the refund administrator at 1-877-819-9692.

Just saw checks were mailed - if an address is outdated how can you get another check?

Current AT&T customers should have gotten a credit on their bill in December 2016 or January 2017. Former AT&T customers should have received a check. The first round of checks were mailed in December 2016 (one year ago). If you have questions about your refund, you can reach the refund administrator at 1-877-819-9692.

I still didn’t get my refund. When Should I expect them?

Current AT&T customers should have gotten a credit on their bill in December 2016 or January 2017. Former AT&T customers should have received a check. The first round of checks were mailed in December 2016 (one year ago). If you have questions about your refund, you can reach the refund administrator at 1-877-819-9692.

My father is dead waiting for this so call refund, AT&T already know the people they overcharge with Landlines and could have cut those checks years ago. Instead of collecting the interest on that money. Now, do we get the interest also?.
Why are you still holding on to our money FTC?
Still waiting in 2018 for something from 2013. WOW?

I'd like to know how people were informed of this. This is the first I'm hearing of it and I was a customer during the time period.

It's been over seven plus years and still no refund

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