AT&T Agrees To Refund Unauthorized Third-Party Charges On Cellphone Bills

AT&T Mobility has agreed to offer refunds to customers who were charged for third-party services like ringtones, although if you were frequently a victim of this you’ll quickly exhaust your refund quota: “Customers will able to claim refunds for spurious charges that appeared on up to three of their monthly bills between Jan. 1, 2004, and May 30, 2008.” AT&T should be sending out a notification to its customers “soon,” but you can already download a refund request.

Will this bring an end to cramming on the AT&T network? Maybe it depends on how many customers demand refunds, although it seems that AT&T is taking steps to rein in the worst of the third-party companies:

[AT&T] now requires customers who sign up for third-party services with recurring fees to confirm by replying to a text message. It also requires the content providers to send monthly reminders with instructions on how to unsubscribe from such services.

“AT&T has taken aggressive action to put industry-leading safeguards in place to protect our customers from unauthorized changes from third parties. We believe this settlement is consistent with that approach,” Richter said.

Richter had no estimate for how much the settlement will cost AT&T. Given that the company already let customers contest spurious charges, he said the number who will get refunds through the settlement will be small. The company will pay the plaintiffs’ lawyers $4.3 million.

Notifications will soon go out to 70 million current AT&T Mobility customers.

Here’s more info on cramming to help you protect your cellphone bill from exploding.

“AT&T settles suit over 3rd-party cell phone fees” [Associated Press]

How To Fight The Phone Cram Scam

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