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Media > Newsletters > Consumer Advocate > November 2014 > Attorney General DeWine Announces National Settlement with AT&T Mobility

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Attorney General DeWine Announces National Settlement with AT&T Mobility

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine, along with other state attorneys general and federal agencies, recently announced a national settlement with AT&T Mobility LLC to resolve allegations that it placed unauthorized third-party charges on consumers’ cell phone bills in a practice known as “mobile cramming.”
As part of the settlement, AT&T Mobility has agreed to pay $105 million, of which $80 million will be used for consumer refunds.
Hundreds of thousands of Ohioans may be affected by the settlement, which was reached by the attorneys general of all 50 states and the District of Columbia, as well as the Federal Trade Commission and Federal Communications Commission.
“We urge consumers to check their cell phone bills for unauthorized charges,” Attorney General DeWine said. “Phone bill ‘cramming’ can be a costly problem — small charges, undetected by consumers, can add up over time. This settlement provides restitution for AT&T customers who have experienced unauthorized third-party charges on their cell phone bills, and it helps prevent these charges in the future.”
Consumers who have been “crammed” often complain about charges, typically $9.99 per month, for “premium” text message subscription services (also known as “PSMS” subscriptions) such as horoscopes, trivia, and sports scores, that the consumers have never heard of or requested. 
The attorneys general and federal regulators allege that cramming occurred when AT&T Mobility placed charges on consumers’ mobile telephone bills for these services without the consumers’ knowledge or consent. Last fall, AT&T Mobility and the three other major mobile carriers — Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile — announced they would cease billing their customers for commercial PSMS charges.
Under the terms of the settlement, AT&T Mobility is required to provide $80 million in funds to be used to pay refunds to consumers who were victims of cramming. The funds will be administered by the Federal Trade Commission. 
Consumers can submit claims under the AT&T Mobility cramming refund program by visiting On that website, consumers can find information about how to obtain a refund. If consumers are unsure about whether they are eligible for a refund, they can visit the claims website or contact the Claims Administrator at 1-877-819-9692 for more information. Claims will be accepted until May 1, 2015.
If you suspect a scam or unfair business practice, report it to the Ohio Attorney General’s Office at or 800-282-0515.