Commission Investigates T-Mobile for Cramming Complaints

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has announced plans to investigate consumer complaints of widespread cramming practices by mobile phone carrier T-Mobile.

In a press release issued in early July 2014, the Commission notes that T-Mobile may have illegally billed customers millions of dollars for unauthorized third-party subscriptions and premium text messaging services, a practice known as cramming. The FCC is reportedly coordinating its investigation with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC), which has separately initiated its own legal action against T-Mobile for placing unauthorized charges on the mobile phone bills of consumers.

The federal Communications Act prohibits carriers for billing subscribers for services without authorization, or for changing a subscriber’s selection of telephone service providers without permission (referred to as slamming). In the past few months alone, the Commission has proposed fines of $5.2 million and $3.5 million for slamming and cramming activities in separate cases involving two Nevada telephone companies.