Jul 1st, 2014

John Legere

We love the vast majority of the moves T-Mobile has been making as part of their Uncarrier movement. Since Uncarrier was first introduced, we’ve seen T-Mobile effectively abolish early termination fees, introduce an early upgrade plan, and even make data roaming free for their customers. But that doesn’t mean every move from Magenta’s camp has been sitting well with consumers.

In fact, in a recent press release the Federal Trade Commission has filed a complaint against T-Mobile, charging the Uncarrier with profiting from fraudulent SMS subscription to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars. The FTC alleges there were clear signs that the SMS scams were fraudulent, with the charges seeing nearly a 40% refund rate. It’s this part alone that should have sent up red flags at T-Mobile, but yet they did nothing.

It’s this, coupled with a high number of complaints and charges buried in 50 page billing statements that the FTC believes T-Mobile should, at the very least, repay back some of these charges. The FTC is also looking for a court order to prevent T-Mobile from engaging in what they call “mobile cramming” (hiding itemized usage charges from 3rd parties).

The always outspoken T-Mobile CEO John Legere issued his own response to “set the record straight” about the allegations from the FTC, calling them unfounded and without merit. What’s more Legere goes on to tout T-Mobile’s Uncarrier movement which has been all about the consumer, citing their recent decision to completely stop charging for subscription SMS services, offering full refunds for anyone that may have been affected. Of course, it’s entirely possible T-Mobile knew about the FTC’s investigation and changed policies to help in an effort for damage control — but that’s none of our business.

Legere says T-Mobile has been first to take action for the consumer and looking at their recent moves, he’s not just blowing smoke. Legere calls the FTC’s complaint sensationalized and feels that they’re being unfairly targeted when the rest of the industry faced the same issue of unauthorized SMS charges.

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