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AT&T Will Fork Over $80M for Mobile Cramming

AT&T Mobility will pay US$80 million for refunds to consumers who were unlawfully billed for unauthorized third-party charges in a practice known as "mobile cramming," the Federal Trade Commission announced on Wednesday.
AT&T billed customers for hundreds of millions of dollars in subscription charges -- typically in increments of $9.99 per month -- levied by other companies for ringtones and text messages containing love tips, horoscopes and assorted "fun facts," the FTC alleged. Further, AT&T kept at least 35 percent of those fees.
Included in the multi-agency settlement are $20 million in penalties and fees paid to 50 states and the District of Columbia, as well as a $5 million penalty to the Federal Communications Commission.
"I am very pleased that this settlement will put tens of millions of dollars back in the pockets of consumers harmed by AT&T's cramming of its mobile customers," said FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez. "This case underscores the important fact that basic consumer protections -- including that consumers should not be billed for charges they did not authorize -- are fully applicable in the mobile environment."
Consumers who believe they were charged by AT&T without their authorization can visit www.ftc.gov/att to learn more and submit a refund claim.