61,000 Hawaiʻi Customers Could Benefit from T-Mobile Settlement
By Maui Now Staff
Hawaiʻi joins 49 other states and the and the District of Columbia in reaching a settlement with T-Mobile USA over allegations of unauthorized charges for third-party services on customers’ mobile phone bills.
The practice, known as “mobile cramming” is believed to have affected some 61,000 customers in Hawaiʻi who become eligible for refunds under the settlement, according to the state Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs.
According to the state Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, consumers who have been “crammed” often complain about charges, typically $9.99 per month, for “premium” text message subscription services such as horoscopes, trivia, and sports scores, that the consumers never heard of or requested.
Department officials say the states and federal regulators allege that cramming occurred when T-Mobile placed charges from third-parties on consumers’ mobile telephone bills without the consumer’s knowledge or consent.
The $90 million settlement with T-Mobile is the second to be resolved. A similar $105 million settlement was reached in October with AT&T.
State officials with the Office of Consumer Protection say anyone who believes they may have been the victim of such deceptive practices should contact T-Mobile as soon as possible to see if they qualify for a refund.
Consumers can submit claims by visiting the T-Mobile refund website.