AT&T Cramming Case Raises Trust Factor Questions

**Editor’s Note: Which is America’s top wireless network? Click here to see what we discovered.**

Don’t think that the record settlement that AT&T will pay over third-party billing charges is an anomaly in the telecom industry.

For instance, Verizon settled a class-action suit a year ago that revolved around a similar issue.

“It’s not just AT&T – the entire industry is plagued with this problem primarily due to the lack of transparent billing, noted 451 Research director Sheryl Kingstone, commenting specifically on an article by The Verge. “While the industry is trying to improve billing systems to reduce internal complexity and simplify the subscriber experience, most have acted too slowly and with little compassion for customers. It’s a shame because the communications industry relies heavily on a trust factor that is now tainted with forced regulation and inadequate responses.”

It was announced on Thursday that AT&T would pay the U.S. government $105 million to settle charges that it “crams” its mobile subscribers’ bills with unauthorized, third-party charges. The FCC and FTC claim that it’s been going on for years. Furthermore, the government agencies said that the carrier made it a habit of dodging customer complaints about the issue.

The FTC is taking $80 million of the settlement to reimburse affected subscribers.

Follow senior online managing editor @Craig_Galbraith on Twitter.

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