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Tuesday, July 1, 2014

FTC Charges T-Mobile for "Making Hundreds of Millions of Dollars" on "Bogus Charges"

Posted by on Tue, Jul 1, 2014 at 11:37 AM

From the FTC's press release:

In a complaint filed today, the Federal Trade Commission is charging mobile phone service provider T-Mobile USA, Inc., with making hundreds of millions of dollars by placing charges on mobile phone bills for purported “premium” SMS subscriptions that, in many cases, were bogus charges that were never authorized by its customers.

The FTC alleges that T-Mobile received anywhere from 35 to 40 percent of the total amount charged to consumers for subscriptions for content such as flirting tips, horoscope information or celebrity gossip that typically cost $9.99 per month. According to the FTC’s complaint, T-Mobile in some cases continued to bill its customers for these services offered by scammers years after becoming aware of signs that the charges were fraudulent.


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This is the same company whose CEO just said that his competitors are out to 'rape' customers.
Posted by unpaid reader on July 1, 2014 at 11:51 AM · Report this
How many times have Americans gone through this crap?

How many times have criminal corporations pulled this sort of crap over and over and over again?

I was reminded of The Stranger's fashion columnist, Marti Jonjak, and the articles she did on that crooked PLP and her apartment building, quite similar to all the apartment buildings they owned or managed in the area:…

(Quite a remarkable commenter at the site above! Copied below if you wish to read it.)***

We experience this from so many companies on a daily, or almost daily, basis in America today --- because America has become nothing more than a completely fraud-based society. A corporate fascist state of pure corruption!

Crooked dental operations, crooked telephone companies, crooked property management firms (I've only experienced one honest property manager/apartment setting in the last thirty years in this town, personally speaking!)

And those horrible crooked corporations and companies so many have to work at.

Pension heist (read Ellen Schultz's Retirement Heist), fixed markets (read anything written by Matt Taibbi and Pam Martens), the list is almost infinite.

When one reads scandals each and every day, they begin to lose any meaning, which is where we are at today in Amerika!

***I do not like to yelp about anything, but I couldn't stop myself from starting an account to warn future would be tenants.

Since Pacific Living Properties took over the rent has increased, for some people as much as $300. I hear they plan to raise it again soon. The quality of living has dramatically decreased. Pacific Living Properties are constantly wanting to enter your apartment for some absurd reason. Every time I turn around there is a notice posted on everyone's door. I am now in the habit of checking the door when I open it to see if there is a letter taped to it. I caught myself doing that.

The place is dirty. Pacific Living Properties continues to look for ways to charge everyone more money and they neglect basic duties like making sure the place is clean. They cut the guy's hours that actually worked the hardest, so when he comes to work he can barely keep up.

A person recently moved in and locked themselves out. It can happen being new to a place right? They called Pacific Living Properties and they told them to call a locksmith. Burned out hallway lights go unchanged for weeks. Air-fresheners mounted on the walls turned up too high leak slimy ooze down the walls. The place smells like a rest stop bathroom now. The hallway and lobby often stinks like a cross between urinal cakes and urine.

A construction site near by parked porta-potties under several tenants window on one side of the building and Pacific Living Properties would not do anything to have them moved to another location on behalf of the residents.

The place is filthy and it is because Pacific Living Properties decided to make cutbacks on that aspect of their budget. It smells like piss in many places. The carpets go weeks without being vacuumed. I have smelled vodka several times during business hours coming from the lobby office. The office is in the habit of telling people that complain that they are "just renting."

If you want to feel like a target for a greedy middleman company then this is the place for you. I want to move out as soon as my lease is over. You can get a much better deal somewhere else. Every time you turn around Pacific Living Properties is doing something that detracts from the quality of living while smiling like they are doing you a favor.

I think the owner wants to get rid of all of the long term residents that have seen the changes. Then Pacific Living Properties can turn the building into an over-priced rental building for marks that are new to the city and desperate to find an apartment. That way they can milk the targets and keep a high turnover rate of disposable tenants.

The once neighborly atmosphere has been replaced by a thick lease agreement, and a litigious threat that hangs in the rest stop like stinking air.

I have lived all over the world and I am telling you -- you have been warned.

Posted by sgt_doom on July 1, 2014 at 12:36 PM · Report this
rob! 3
Since my cell usage is very low (I mainly keep it for emergencies), for years I've had a prepaid phone that costs me as little as $5 a month to keep in service, but works out to about 20¢ a minute for actual calls.

In the last few months I noticed that the sound changed subtly after 30 seconds or so when I called someone on the cell, and that it took longer for calls to be answered—if I called someone I knew was at a desk, instead of answering on the first ring it would take five or six, and when calling my message machine it would take 8-10 rings to answer instead of the four I set it to answer if there were new messages.

So I called my landline with my cell while I was home, and found that the ringtone in my earpiece buzzed 5-6 times before the FIRST ring on my landline. Now, for the last 75 years or so, the "ringing" you hear in the handset is not the actual ringing of the called phone (it's a synthetic tone to let you know your call is going through), but the new wrinkle is there's a 30-second or more delay, while the call timer ticks, before the actual connection is made.

In other words, at least an extra 10¢ for the cell carrier every time I dial. Since prepaid cell phones are disproportionately used by the poor and elderly (I'm not either one yet), multiply that by millions of people and millions of calls, and the phone company's figured out another way to make still more money on those who can least afford it.

Fuck Verizon.
Posted by rob! on July 1, 2014 at 12:53 PM · Report this
As a T-Mobile customer, and former employee who left the company with no ill will, this is disappointing. I had similar charges that when I called, were corrected without issue. But I had the charges show up again so another call, and another credit. I shouldn't have had to make the call. Plain and simple. Dollar for dollar, TMO is a good bargain. Not the best network in rural areas but a good compromise. This needs to be cleaned up internally.
Posted by Bean on July 1, 2014 at 4:44 PM · Report this

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