AT&T agrees to $88 million refund for victims of mobile cramming

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AT&T agrees to $88 million refund for victims of mobile cramming
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Nearly three million current and former AT&T customers will be receiving a refund from the wireless provider for mobile cramming.

Read more: Clark’s take on DirecTV Now: ‘It’s a great replacement for traditional pay TV’

AT&T readies massive refund in mobile cramming case

Not familiar with ‘mobile cramming’? It’s a phrase that describes when mobile companies team up with third-party marketers to put phony charges on your monthly bill. They do it for bogus services you never wanted or asked for in the first place, and they get paid to ‘cram’ those charges on there.

According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), AT&T was billing customers $9.99 each month for ringtones, wallpapers and  ‘premium text message services’ like love tips, horoscopes and fun facts.

And what was AT&T’s cut of the illicit action? The FTC says the mobile provider was gobbling at least 35% of all the bogus mobile cramming charges it managed to push through onto customers’ bills.

Of course, AT&T isn’t the only wireless provider to ever play this game. Verizon and Sprint were taken to task for the same thing last year. 

But now it’s time for AT&T to pay the piper. The company will dish out more than $88 million in refunds to more than 2.7 million customers.

That’s the most money ever returned to consumers in a mobile cramming case!

AT&T mobile cramming refund

How are the AT&T refunds being handed out?

Nearly 2.5 million current AT&T customers should look for a bill credit within the next 75 days, according to the FTC.

More than 300,000 former customers should look for a check in the coming weeks. The first round of checks went out in the mail on Dec. 8.

You can expect that average refund amount to be $31.

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

Clark’s take on mobile cramming

As more and more Americans disconnect their home phone landlines, criminals have migrated to where the opportunity is — the cell phone industry.

So there’s one strategy that’s core and key to you fighting back against phony cramming charges…

‘Be sure to go through your bill every month page-by-page to vet out any cram charges or better yet, call up your carrier and tell them to block access for third party charges,’ Clark Howard says. ‘Cramming is one of those things that’s ugly for your wallet yet so preventable.’

Read more: Warning: Do not buy these iPhone chargers

Scam alert: Fake iPhone apps

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Theo Thimou About the author: Theo Thimou
Theo is director of content for clark.com. He has co-written 2 books with Clark Howard, including the #1 New York Times bestseller Clark Howard's Living Large in Lean Times.
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