The mainstream media had a field day with T-Mobile yesterday. After the FTC published its press release in which it alleges that T-Mobile has been knowingly overcharging its customers for fraudulent premium SMS subscriptions, articles flooded the internet saying that T-Mobile ripped off its customers for millions of dollars. According to the FTC, T-Mobile customers never approved these charges in the first place, and T-Mobile itself received between 35-40% of the total amount charged for these text subscriptions. Most of them typically cost around $9.99/month.
It’s really not as big of a deal as people are making it out. Back in November, T-Mobile agreed to stop charging its customers any premium SMS fees, period. The reason it gave was that there was too much fraud going on, unsuspecting customers were getting ripped off, and basically T-Mobile was sick of it. Additionally, earlier this month – before the FTC made its announcement – T-Mobile announced that it has started a program to proactively notify customers who were charged premium SMS fees and tell them exactly how they can request a refund.
This is in addition to all the other ways T-Mobile has helped consumers – by eliminating extra charges for international texting, by making texting while roaming abroad free, and by eliminating overages for customers who have limited buckets of texts on older plans.
So relax. T-Mobile is not trying to cheat anyone on purpose, it is trying to do right by those who were inadvertently cheated, and it’s done a lot of other consumer-friendly stuff, too.