T-Mobile jogs customers' memories, reminds them about refunds for premium SMS

T-Mobile US (NYSE:TMUS) launched a new program to proactively reach out to customers who were billed for premium SMS messages they received from third-party services to give them the opportunity to request a refund for any unauthorized charges.

"If you've been charged for a third-party service you didn't sign up for, it should be easy to get a refund," T-Mobile CMO Mike Sievert said in a statement. "If customers were charged for services they didn't want, we'll make it right."

Starting in July and running through September, T-Mobile said it will notify current and former customers who paid for premium SMS services and have not already received a refund to let them know about how to get a summary of these charges and then request a refund for charges that were not authorized. The carrier also said it will set up a special website in July to provide more information on the issue.

In November 2013, AT&T Mobility (NYSE: T), Sprint (NYSE: S) and T-Mobile entered into an agreement with 45 states to stop billing customers for premium SMS messages they receive. 

The agreement was announced by the Vermont Attorney General's office, and said 45 states, led by Vermont, along with Delaware, Florida, Maryland, Oregon, Texas and Washington, worked with carriers to end the practice of premium SMS. The office said at the time that premium SMS accounted for the majority of third-party charges on cell phones "and for the overwhelming majority of cramming complaints." Cramming is the term known for bills tied to unauthorized third-party services.

Verizon Wireless (NYSE: VZ) was not part of the settlement but said that it would also discontinue the practice. The carriers continue to support text-to-donate for charitable programs and text-to-contribute for political campaigns.

For more:
- see this release
- see this Re/code article

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