clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

How to Check if You’re Eligible for Some of $160 Million in Cramming Refunds

AT&T and T-Mobile customers may be eligible, but Sprint and Verizon subscribers are out of luck (so far).


It’s been a little hard to keep track of all of the cramming settlements (and lawsuits) lodged against the major four wireless carriers over the last few months. But with $160 million set aside — so far — for subscriber refunds, it’s worth looking to see if you might be due some money back.

All of the major wireless carriers (AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile and Sprint) agreed to stop allowing third parties to place unauthorized premium text message charges on customer bills in November 2013. But federal officials still spent much of the year building cases against the companies anyway in an effort to get refunds for consumers.

The charges for premium text message services like ringtone or horoscope subscriptions usually cost $9.99 a month and often went undetected by consumers who weren’t checking their bills closely.


If you are a current or former AT&T wireless subscriber, you may be eligible for a refund. AT&T settled federal and state complaints for $25 million in October and agreed to set aside $80 million for subscriber refunds.

As of mid-December, the Federal Trade Commission had received 1.2 million consumer claims for refunds. You have until May 1 to file a refund claim.

You can file a claim or find out more on the FTC website.


Current and former T-Mobile subscribers may be eligible for refunds from a recent $90 million settlement government settlement with the wireless carrier. T-Mobile initially resisted settling the charges and was sued; it reversed course six months later. At least $80 million of that settlement would be set aside for refunds.

You have until April 30 to ask for an account summary, which would show if you might be eligible for a refund. You then have until June 30 to file a claim.

T-Mobile has set up a site where you can file a claim or find out more.


Current and former Sprint customers aren’t eligible for any refunds yet, but that could change soon.

Earlier this month, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau sued Sprint over it’s premium text messaging billing practices. The Federal Communications Commission is also looking at assessing a related $105 million file against the wireless carrier. Most of that money would be set aside for customer refunds.


So far, Verizon customers are out of luck when it comes to cramming refunds.

Verizon has been the only major wireless carrier which hasn’t either settled a federal complaint or been sued. Spokespeople for the FTC, FCC or Consumer Financial Protection Bureau wouldn’t comment on whether Verizon is next.

This article originally appeared on