The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has already received 359,000 refund claims just one week after an AT&T cramming settlement had been announced.
An FTC spokesman said, as far as the agency can tell, this is the biggest first week for refund claims the FTC has ever seen.
AT&T customers have until May 1, 2015 to file refund claims if they can confirm or if they suspect that they were stuck with unauthorized third-party charges, likely from premium SMS services. After that, the FTC claims administrator will access AT&T billing records to determine how big of refund each claim is entitled to.
AT&T is shelling out $80 million in refunds as part of a larger $105 million settlement. The remainder of the settlement is going to state and federal authorities.
AT&T is the first U.S. carrier to enter into a nationwide settlement over cramming. But the FTC and the FCC are targeting other Tier 1 providers.
T-Mobile is currently being investigated for similar practices, with the FTC claiming the carrier made “hundreds of millions” from fraudulent charges.
The FTC’s complaint is seeking to “permanently prevent T-Mobile from engaging in mobile cramming and to obtain refunds for consumers and disgorgement of T-Mobile’s ill-gotten gains.”
As part of AT&T’s settlement, the carrier has also agreed to break out third-party charges on phone bills, obtain consent from customers before charging, and to refund all future unauthorized third-party charges.