WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) made the following statement today on AT&T’s $105 million settlement with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), and the attorneys general of all 50 states and the District of Columbia to resolve an investigation into allegations that the company billed customers for unauthorized charges for third-party services they did not authorize. The settlement is the largest enforcement action in FCC history. AT&T will pay a $5 million penalty and will pay an additional $80 million to be distributed to AT&T customers who were victims of wireless cramming. An additional $20 million will be paid to state governments participating in the settlement.
“Consumers should not open their phone bills at the end of the month to find a string of complicated charges they never knew they were accruing for services they never requested,” Klobuchar said. “Today’s action sends a clear message that these bogus charges will not be tolerated, puts money directly back into consumers’ pockets, and brings us one step closer to ensuring that consumers have access to clear, transparent bills free from hidden charges.”
Klobuchar has been a leader in the fight to protect consumers from unauthorized charges on their wireless bills. Klobuchar successfully pushed Verizon, AT&T and CenturyLink to stop cramming charges on landline phone bills, and after Klobuchar urged officials to crack down on wireless cramming, the FTC took enforcement action against Wise Media, LLC and other third party crammers. At a Commerce Committee hearing this spring, Klobuchar called on the FCC to do more to protect consumers from cramming as consumers increasingly go wireless and as payment technology evolves.