More than 240,000 T-Mobil USA, Inc. customers in Arizona will receive a portion of a $90 million settlement over allegations that the cell-phone company charged consumers for unauthorized third-party services, Attorney General Tom Horne announced on Friday.
The third-party services included text message subscription services for such things as sports scores, trivia and horoscopes. Typically, unauthorized charges -- known as "mobile cramming" -- were for $9.99 per month.
Arizona will receive $293,193 of the national settlement with the amount going to individual consumers varying by cell phone usage.
“Charging people for services they didn’t request or know about is illegal under the Arizona Consumer Fraud Act,” Horne said. “I strongly encourage T-Mobile customers who were victims of wireless cramming to file a restitution claim with the company or our office.”
Of the total $90 million settlement, $67.5 million will be paid to customers nationwide. The offices of the 49 attorney generals who filed the suit against T-Mobile, including Horne, will share $18 million. The Federal Communications Commission will receive approximately $4.5 million.
As part of the settlement, T-Mobil also must alter its policies related to third-party billing.