AT&T customers who had unauthorized third-party charges added to their bills will be getting their refunds soon, the Federal Trade Commission announced on Thursday.
More than 2.7 million AT&T customers who were charged up to $9.99 per month for "premium text message services" without their consent will be receiving a refund, mostly through bill credits, the FTC said. The average refund amount is $31.
Current AT&T customers can expect to see a credit on their bill within the next 75 days, while the more than 300,000 customers who jumped ship from AT&T since the so-called "cramming" scheme will be getting a check. All told, the FTC will dole out more than $88 million in refunds, or the most money ever returned to consumers in a mobile cramming case, the agency said.
This particular cramming case dates back to 2014, when AT&T settled charges that it added those unauthorized charges to its customers bills for things like ringtones, wallpaper, and text messages with horoscopes, flirting tips, celebrity gossip, and more. Most of these charges were $9.99 per month, though in some cases they were as high as $60 per month. In many cases, customers did not agree to these charges, which were hidden on phone bills, the FTC said.
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"AT&T received a high volume of complaints related to mobile cramming prior to the FTC and other federal and state agencies stepping in on consumers' behalf," FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez said in a statement. "I am pleased that consumers are now being refunded their money and that AT&T has changed its mobile billing practices."
If you have questions about the refunds, call 1-877-819-9692.