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T-Mobile in Class Action suit on SMS services

Discussion in 'Wireless News' started by Fire14, Jan 30, 2008.

  1. Fire14

    Fire14 Easy,Cheap & Sleazy
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    Class action nails T-Mobile USA over texting services
    Unwanted messages spur dust-up

    T-Mobile USA Inc. has been hit with a class action suit over alleged charges for text messages received by consumers who do not want the feature.

    The suit, recently filed in the U.S. District Court in Seattle, claims T-Mobile USA charges for text messages regardless of whether customers want the missives.

    “T-Mobile refuses to disable the texting messaging feature on its customers’ accounts, even when the customer has no interest in sending, or, more importantly, receiving text messages,” stated plaintiffs representing Maria Detwiler and others. “Moreover, T-Mobile requires each of its customers who have not subscribed to one of T-Mobile’s Messaging Value Bundles to pay for each and every unsolicited text message they receive. In sum, T-Mobile, the party with the superior bargaining power, has carried out a wrongful business scheme regarding text messaging to deliberately cheat a large number of consumers out of individually small sums of money.”

    The plaintiffs allege T-Mobile USA’s texting policy violates federal telecom law and Washington state’s consumer protection-unfair business practices act. The suit did not contain a dollar figure for alleged damages. T-Mobile USA is based in Bellvue, Wash.

    “T-Mobile does not comment on pending litigation,” said a spokesperson at public relations firm that represents T-Mobile.

    Remedies

    Charging subscribers for unwanted text messages does not appear particularly unusual in the wireless industry. Verizon Wireless and Sprint Nextel Corp., however, said there are remedies they offer customers to disable texting capability altogether. AT&T Mobility did not respond to an e-mail request for comment.

    In the class action suit at issue, Detwiler asserts T-Mobile USA refused her request to turn off the text feature on her phone.

    On a related front, South Dakota Attorney General Larry Long issued a warning to cellphone users to be on the watch for unsolicited charges on their monthly bills. Long said the Consumer Protection Division has received complaints from consumers statewide who have received unwanted text messages for ringtones, images, joke-a-day services, horiscopes and more.

    “These charges are showing up on monthly bills described as ‘download’ with no further explanation,” stated Long. “They often come with a recurring monthly fee and unless you are looking closely you might not notice these types of charges on your bill. If you do not have text messaging as part of your monthly plan you will also receive an additional charge from your carrier for each text message received.”

    Class action nails T-Mobile USA over texting services - RCR Wireless News
     
  2. Kalimotxo

    Kalimotxo Bronze Senior Member
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    I didn't realize that there wasn't a way to block texting with Tmobile. It will be interesting to see how this one plays out...
     
  3. RadioRaiders

    RadioRaiders RF Black-Belt
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    In the US you still have to pay for incoming calls and SMS? :confused: Most networks outside the US don't charge for incoming. I don't know why they still do this in the US. :confused:

    It's not right that you get spammed, and then have to pay for it. :loony: ...or to have to disable SMS-ing alltogether because of it.:loony:

    Is SMS spamming a big problem in the US? Most SMS spam comes from internet based SMS. US carriers can block all internet based SMS (like most European operators have allready done) and then that would pretty much be the end of it. (I've only gotten maybe 5 spam SMS in the last 5 years.)
     
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  4. leafsfan81

    leafsfan81 Junior Member
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    Wirelessly posted (Sammy U540: SCH-U540/1.0 NetFront/3.0.22.2.5 (GUI) MMP/2.0)

    It is a well known fact the the US carriers are lagging behind. Having said that, Verizon recently enabled a block on premium text messaging which prevents people from getting stuck with ringtone subscriptions they did not want. I have also seen a reduction in the number of spam messages I have gotten.
     
  5. Kalimotxo

    Kalimotxo Bronze Senior Member
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    Yes, we still pay for incoming calls and incoming SMS. However, most people are on bundled or unlimited SMS packages. As for incoming calls, meh... who cares. I rarely exceed my plan mins.

    The bottom line is that here in the US I believe we have some of the best deals for wireless plans. I can travel over 3,000 miles away from my home and make a phone call without paying an outrageous roaming charge. Unlimited N&W & Unlimited M2M are standards on most plans with most carriers. I could go on and on but it's time for me to get back to work. :biggrin:
     
  6. Simon5282

    Simon5282 Senior Member
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    Text messages, price gouging at its finest. It cost the carriers less than a cent, and possibly as low as $0.002 to send or receive them, yet they charge us $0.20, a ridiculous markup. I would have no problem paying for incoming text if I could look at the caller ID and decline the message, and if the carriers would not grossly overprice their messages.

    Oh, and text messages, price gouging at its finest. It cost the carriers less than a cent, and possibly as low as $0.002 to send or receive them, yet they charge us $0.20, a ridiculous markup. I would have no problem paying for incoming text if I could look at the caller ID and decline the message, and if the carriers would not grossly overprice their messages.

    Source

    I actually prefer it better this way. I don't care for the "caller pays" model that is over seas, the caller has to pay for the airtime on your mobile. That is why your inclusive minutes are higher, to offset the other persons airtime. I also noticed that calls to mobiles are almost double when not part of your inclusive minutes.--You called me, you pay for my airtime.

    I prefer our "user pays." There is no difference in calling a cell phone or a landline. We have more minutes included with our plan because we are only paying the airtime for our cell. If you call a cell from a landline, there is no additional charge to call a cell. If you don't want the charges, decline the call when you see the Caller ID. It also allows the carriers to provide us with features such as unlimited Nights and Weekends, and Unlimited Mobile to Mobile.--I pay for my airtime, you pay for yours.

    If I could have your contract and unlocking policies, and our calling model for calls, I would be happy.
     
  7. RadioRaiders

    RadioRaiders RF Black-Belt
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    True, I forgot the US has different pricing plans. Services in the US are more "bundeled", Europe is more a la carte. I guess it all comes out even in the wash.
    SMS is a service, not a retail product, so there's no markup. If a massuse comes to your house and gives you a massage and charges you $100, what's the markup? Well, she has to pay for gas, she has to eat, etc. Same goes for operators. They look at their over-all costs and then price services accordingly.

    ...but yea, SMS uses very little network capacity compared to voice, so I kind of see your point. However in the US you have "all you can eat" SMS packages, so again, nothing to complain about really ;).
     
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  8. AnthroMatt

    AnthroMatt Big Meanie
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    Sprint also offers a block on "premium" SMS messages or a complete and total block if that is what someone wants.

    Charging for incoming SMS (at the insane rat eof 20 cents per message) is a way carriers "coerce" people into getting 500 SMS plans when they maybe have use for 50 (25 in and 25 out) per month.
     
  9. KyleAndMelissa22

    KyleAndMelissa22 Woot Woot, Splat !!!
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    On My Account with Alltel, I can block messages to & from certain numbers, or web addresses, or altogether. :)
    I don't use text really, at the most like 8 per month, so I'm ok with paying 15¢ for each message.
    If it gets out of control, I'll just block a certain number from texting me :).

    Why couldn't T-Mobile (and others) have "block only certain numbers" as a feature?
    I know they could, they just don't want to.
     
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  10. Ellen

    Ellen Guest

    I couldn't agree more with this Class Action suit. IMO, it is absolutely ridiculous for any carrier to charge for a feature that a customer does not want. Hopefully things will change, and they will enable a way to block certain features for customers that prefer not to use them.
     
  11. scotsboyuk

    scotsboyuk Senior Member
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    I can travel anywhere in my country and not have to roam. :p To be fair, most countries don't have two points 3,000 miles apart. Hee hee. :p
     
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  12. RJB

    RJB Gold Senior Member
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    Well I emailed this to my friend who has Tmobile but just wants voice has no care/need for messaging. And gets mad when he gets spammed.
     
  13. SmArTeStChIlD421

    SmArTeStChIlD421 Silver Senior Member
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    i know the only thing that tmobile has is the ability to block certain email addresses from texting you.......
     
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  14. RJB

    RJB Gold Senior Member
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    Yeah to me that is not good enough I mean there has to be a way for them to do it all.
     
  15. SmArTeStChIlD421

    SmArTeStChIlD421 Silver Senior Member
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    oh and I'm sure they can do it.............they are capable of doing it but they won't..............and nobody can figure out why
     
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