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Cellphone charges lawsuit

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Today's cell phone bills can be as long as they are confusing. 

But, not reading that fine print could cost you. 
 
Maybe you've heard this, "Ding!" and received a text message, like this and this is a real example "The placement of a donkeys eyes on its head enables it to see all four feet at all times." 
 
Random, right? 
 
Federal regulators say AT&T customers were billed for unsolicited texts, or spam, just like that, to the tune of "hundreds of millions of dollars." 
 
Reporter: "They call this cramming?" 
Jessica Rich, FTC: "That means placing charges, cramming charges on bills that you don't know are there." 
 
Now, AT&T will pay 105-million dollars in penalties including 80 million refunded to consumers for the unlawful billing where the fee shows up as an unauthorized $9.99 monthly subscription. 
 
AT&T says it discontinued billing for those type of third-party charges last year.  And, the FTC is presently suing T-Mobile for the same thing. 
 
So, here's our experts take-away. 
 
Bob Sullivan, "you might get a spam text message and be inclined to ignore it. That's a big mistake. When you get a spam text you should probably run to your computer and check on your bill." 
 
In addition they say look for vague terms, like usage or service charge.  Watch out for $4.99 or $9.99 items, those are the most popular fees third-party companies charge and check your total bill.  If it's higher that usual, call your provider and make sure you didn't get crammed. 
 

If you have AT & T and think you may have been unfairly charged, the federal government has set up a special website where you can apply for a refund https://www.ftcsettlementatt.com/en/Claim
 


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