July 03, 2014

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is investigating complaints that T-Mobile billed its customers for millions of dollars in unauthorized third-party subscriptions and premium text messaging services.

The FCC has coordinated its investigation with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), which has filed a lawsuit against T-Mobile concerning the company's placement of unauthorized charges on customer's mobile phone bills—a practice known as "cramming."

"Consumers should not be charged for services that they did not order," said Travis LeBlanc, Acting Chief the FCC's Enforcement Bureau. "We will coordinate our investigation with the FTC, and use our independent enforcement authority to ensure a thorough, swift, and just resolution of the numerous complaints against T-Mobile."

Numerous T-Mobile subscribers have filed complaints with the FCC and the FTC alleging that unauthorized charges for unwanted third-party services were added to their T-Mobile wireless telephone bills. The unwanted charges included billing for ringtones, wallpapers, and text message subscriptions to services providing horoscopes, flirting tips, and celebrity gossip.

In the past four years, the FCC has taken nine enforcement actions against companies for cramming that have totaled more than $33 million in proposed fines to the U.S. Treasury.