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T-Mobile, Stop Your Billing Fraud!

By Patrick   2011 Nov 19, 9:09am   7 links   36,955 views   59 comments   watch (3)   quote      

T-Mobile and probably other carriers are fraudulently charging customers for cellular data now that its text messaging fraud scheme has been exposed. Check your bill.

See TMobile Still Allows Text-Message Billing Scam for how T-Mobile and other carriers steal $2 billion/year from their customers via 3rd party text messages. After thousands of customers complained and the FCC got involved, lo and behold, T-Mobile has slowed down their texting scam, though other carriers seem to continue:

The new T-Mobile fraud is to put random charges on your bill for "WEB AND DATA USAGE" even if your phone is not capable of using cellular data. To disable cellular data on a first generation iPhone, just go into settings > general > network > cellular data and set these parameters to garbage: APN, Username, Password. That disables all cellular data. You can do a similar thing on Android phones.

But since this is fraud and not technology, that won't stop T-Mobile for billing you for cellular data that you didn't use!

If you call 1-800-866-2453 and manage to talk to a human, the T-Mobile representative will definitely lie to you in several ways immediately:

* They will tell you that "it's not possible" to disable cellular data and billing for cellular data. Even a first year undergrad computer science major knows this is obvious bullshit. It is always very easy to tell a computer not to provide a certain network service, just a flip of the right switch.

* They will tell you that if you use wifi, it may momentarily drop the wifi and use cellular data without your permission. Carriers are supposed to ask your permission before allowing cellular data access if you don't have a data plan. But blaming your phone unfairly puts the blame on you, which is essential for their fraud to keep working.

* They will tell you that it will not be possible to reverse fraudulent charges in the future. You're supposed to feel grateful for their understanding "this one time". The truth is that they can and legally must reverse fraudulent charges, or you have the makings of a good lawsuit against them. Any class action lawyers want to get involved here?

You might think you should simply use another carrier, but because our Congress is deeply corrupted by lobbying money, all the carriers get away with corrupt practices like these. American cell carriers also charge us more than twice as much as people in other countries pay for the same cellular service. Carriers can do that because we have no free market. Our Congressmen are cheap to pay off, and they will sign any law you write if you simply pay them enough in "campaign contributions". This is a very clear case of corruption costing you money every month.

What is the best way to punish T-Mobile and get them to stop their fraudulent billing practices? We could all call their customer service number and use their time to make them explain to us why they continue to defraud their customers. We could publish the home addresses of their excutives and encourage very personal protest marches. Getting Congress to make laws in the public interest will take a real revolution of some kind though.

It is not sufficient simply to get the charges reversed, because for every customer that notices the scam, many others do not, and so the carrier still has a big motive to continue scamming. The punishment must be thousands of times larger than the scam to get the carriers to stop. Think of carriers as very large, greedy, and stupid dinosaurs. A sufficient punishment would be to completely revoke their FCC license and send their stock to zero. Remember that we the public give the carriers permission to use the public airwaves, and we can revoke that permission too. It might help a little to write the FCC: The FCC doesn't seem as easily corrupted as Congress, because they are not dependent on campaign contributions/bribes.

Do you see fraudulent data charges on your own bill? If so, please leave a comment about them, and suggestions on practical ways to sufficiently punish T-Mobile.

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20   Patrick   1777/1777 = 100% civil   2011 Nov 23, 2:03am  ↑ like   ↓ dislike (1)   quote    

T-Mobile has not yet answered any of the questions I asked:

1. Will you promise that T-Mobile will never bill my account for data again?

2. Why are T-Mobile reps instructed to lie that it is not possible to disable data and billing for data?

3. Why does T-Mobile continue to allow 3rd parties to put arbitrary charges on user bills via text messages without T-Mobile getting any verification from the user himself that the charges are legitimate?


ladilla says

Here's what I did, and might suggest(will be able to tell you for sure after more time passes and can evalute more accurately): I ported my business cell phone number to google voice(gmail) for $20. in doing so i canceled my previous cell phone carrier (in this case it was pay as you go at$t).

That's clever. So your number is now completely independent of which cellphone you're using, and you can find good cheap deals and not have to beg the carrier to port your number to a new phone.

blahblahblah says

It made me wonder at the time if it was T-Mobile themselves sending me these texts. Image how much they would profit from all their pre-paid users by simply sending them a text a day.

Yes, they have a big motive to cheat that way too.

ilearn says

T-mobile services were a great value until recently when AT&T took over.

AT$T hasn't taken over T-Mobile yet. But I expect it will happen soon, because AT$T is the biggest single campaign contributor in DC.

victorianova says

I have been very frustrated with T-mobile about this scam. Apparently I was charged for $9.99 from 4 (four) 3rd party providers in one month. I immediately called them for this issue and they said they would block it. But it appeared again in the next 2 months.

Sounds very much like my experience. All the carriers makes so much money from these scams that they will not stop until we have a credible threat of revoking their FCC license:

21   B.A.C.A.H.     2011 Nov 23, 3:07am  ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

Here is the reason I had to switch to "no-land-line" use model.

The place where we live used to be swampland. Topographical maps show it is a depression along the path of a creek that drains from the hills towards the Bay.

Over the years most of the pasture was developed into housing. It is prime target for liquefaction in a major earthquake. We experience that effect sometimes with the tremors, when, after the quake is ended the ground still sways like a small rowboat in the wake of a larger boat.

My partner and I moved into the residence during the seven year drought. We knew it was a former swamp with liquefaction potential but it was the site we wanted to move into at the time. Held up OK in the 1989 Loma Prieta quake but as we all know, that was not The Big One.

During the drought the ground was dried out so there were no problems with the utilities. The drought ended in 1994-95 wet season and then in the next few years there were problems with the underground utilities: many failures of underground electricals, a burst water main on our street, and problems with telephone and cable. For the most part, after a couple of years all the weak links had broken and were replaced and we were back to usual.

Except for my landline phone. Every time we got a big rain, it would not accept incoming calls till the ground dried out. Outgoing calls were OK. Dialup internet was OK. Even DSL would work. But not incoming landline phone calls. By the time the technicians came out, things would've dried out enough that the phone would work again. Storm after storm, winter after winter, year after year, service call after service call. Pacific Bell, Southwestern Bell, ATT. They grinded me down and wore me out till after 14 years I went to cell-only.

22   Patrick   1777/1777 = 100% civil   2011 Nov 23, 4:50am  ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

Latest communication with T-Mobile:

Thanks Dot,
but you didn't promise to stop charging me for data, right?

I know you don't have the authority yourself to reform a corrupt company and corrupt industry, but you are in a position to effectively protest that corruption. I hope you'll use your position to make the world better rather than to make T-Mobile unethical profits. You'll sleep better at night and you'll be proud at the end of your career.

Though of course, your career might end quickly.


Executive Response (ECR) wrote:
> Mr. Killelea,
> T-Mobile regrets any inconvenience this matter has caused you. We take
> our customer’s satisfaction very seriously and we thank you for bringing
> these matters to our attention. Please rest assured your concerns have
> been noted and forwarded to the appropriate teams for further
> consideration of improvements T-Mobile may make in the future.
> Please accept our sincere apologies.
> Dot Kellogg
> Executive Customer Relations
> Office of the President
> Desk: 877-290-6323
> ext. 341-7999
> Fax: (505) 998-3796

23   JG1     2011 Nov 23, 8:58am  ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

Yes, telecom stocks, like drug maker stocks, pay huge dividends because they have so deeply corrupted our lawmakers with contributions/bribes and prevented honest competition. Great work if you can get it

You can get it - they're all or almost all publicly traded - buy the stock. These stocks are also held in most index funds, pension funds, etc.

24   Gaston     2011 Nov 23, 12:44pm  ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike   quote    

2 out of two times, when I use my CCard to pay my Pre-Paid my T-Mobile account, I got fraudulent charges next day... I start to wonder how that is even possible...

25   victorianova     2011 Nov 23, 3:28pm  ↑ like   ↓ dislike (1)   quote    

Gaston says

2 out of two times, when I use my CCard to pay my Pre-Paid my T-Mobile account, I got fraudulent charges next day... I start to wonder how that is even possible...

Maybe T-mobile is selling our private information. Just like how the hell the 3rd party got our numbers and charged us with some non-existing services... It all came from T-mobile and other mobile service providers...

26   Patrick   1777/1777 = 100% civil   2011 Nov 24, 6:59am  ↑ like   ↓ dislike (1)   quote    

That's an excellent point. How the hell did scammers get my unpublished number, several times?

It must have come from T-Mobile itself, implicating them even more deeply in this fraud.

27   Patrick   1777/1777 = 100% civil   2011 Nov 24, 7:02am  ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

JG1 says

You can get it - they're all or almost all publicly traded - buy the stock. These stocks are also held in most index funds, pension funds, etc.

True, Verizon and AT&T pay the two highest dividends in the Dow, at 5.5% and 5.9%.

28   humbleEngr     2011 Nov 27, 6:06am  ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

fwiw, i was on t-mobile's flexpay plan, two phones, one with a data plan, no texting, 700 shared minutes, for $84 / month.

They kept calling me saying they were cancelling flexpay, and were trying to migrate me to a more expensive "unlimited data, text, talk" whatever crap. After almost an hour of negotiating and talking, I finally go them to give me the same plan i have as post-paid for $73 /month. I use data more than I ever talk, but I also like to be able to tether to my laptop occasionally when travelling. Tethering's pretty restricted on most other carriers.

NOTE: I use a nexus one (android) and an htc hd2 (hacked with windows phone 7). Note that both phones are somewhat special in that the nexus one can't be easily recognized as a smartphone (the IMEI # isn't in t-mobile's system), the htc hd2 normally runs the old windows mobile os, but can run android or wp7 if you're technically savvy.

howard forums has info:

29   justme   105/105 = 100% civil   2011 Dec 26, 4:54pm  ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    


4 days ago I got a text message from T-mobile as follows:

"You can block third-party content charges (games, apps, etc) to your account. Call Customer Care at 611 to add Content Blocking for free."

I don't know if this would help you with your spam problem...

30   Alma     2012 Jan 8, 11:56am  ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike   quote    

It is not only TMobile. Verizon just did it on my husbands phone, a man who only knows how to dial on a cel phone. I started paying this company the agreed $59.99. It is now almost a $100.00 a month. I just disconnected his phone and gave him mine.

31   kim k     2012 Apr 25, 10:50am  ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike   quote    

do not get the internet card!!!! they charged me 2000.00!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

32   PissedOffasWell     2012 Jul 20, 8:49am  ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike   quote    

I purchased t-mobile prepaid phones for texting and calling mostly. Four days ago I recharged the phone with $30 aka 300 minutes.

Today, I discovered my phone has 26 minutes left. I checked the phone log (had to go through it 1 by 1, since there is no log on the website and the customer service reps can't and won't show you anything) - my total minute usage since last filling up was 12 minutes (rounded up).

What happened to the other 262 minutes? I don't use data, I only text and make very basic phone calls. Text is supposed to be unlimited with my plan.

I smell a huge scam going on by this phone company. Something needs to be done about this. We need to hold them accountable.

33   APOCALYPSEFUCKisShostikovitch     2012 Jul 20, 8:59am  ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

I have a 2001 Ericsson R520 that I used with T-Mobile payasyougo and my most recent recharge in March seems to be already used up. I will have to see how they billed to the pre-pay account to determine whether or not I'd been robbed by these scum-sucking psychopaths.

34   APOCALYPSEFUCKisShostikovitch     2012 Jul 20, 8:59am  ↑ like (3)   ↓ dislike   quote    

PissedOffasWell says

I smell a huge scam going on by this phone company. Something needs to be done about this. We need to hold them accountable.

They need to be burned at the stake in the town square.

It's God's plan.

35   PockyClipsNow   57/57 = 100% civil   2012 Jul 20, 9:00am  ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

this is what you get with 'the cheapest' option.

its like going with the lowest bid contractor - they HAVE to gouge later on or cant make profit.

with movers its even worse the lowest ones add crazy crazy fees outta nowhere.

I recommend using two cups and a string over t-mobile.

36   Patrick   1777/1777 = 100% civil   2012 Jul 20, 10:42am  ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike   quote    

Yes, TMobile is still the cheapest since AT&T didn't manage to put them out of business by buying them. Yet.

I think it's OK to go with the low-cost provider as long as they don't defraud you.

But TMobile is obviously defrauding its customers.

Nothing will be fixed until the Supreme Court Citizens United decision is overturned. Corporations can buy a lot more congressman than we can.

37   shanMitchel     2012 Sep 12, 3:25am  ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

I am a victim of T-Mobile's lies, lots of lies and charge the fee from nowhere. Having problem about record issue too, they didn't listen to the record but said that it's handwriting. from offer $39.99 now then $58 and just changed to $68/month that i disagreed. I want to go to small claim court but no attorney, don't know what to do

38   Patrick   1777/1777 = 100% civil   2012 Sep 12, 3:37am  ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

shanMitchel says

I am a victim of T-Mobile's lies, lots of lies and charge the fee from nowhere. Having problem about record issue too, they didn't listen to the record but said that it's handwriting. from offer $39.99 now then $58 and just changed to $68/month that i disagreed. I want to go to small claim court but no attorney, don't know what to do

You don't need an attorney to go to small claims court!

In fact, they attorneys are not allowed. You should definitely file in small claims court. It should cost you only $30 or so, and they will have to show up or you will win by default. Then if you win, you can get the sheriff to go start taking TMobile's property to collect your judgement against them.

I went to small claims court once when a former landlord would not refund my security deposit or explain why. The whole process was pretty easy, and I got my money back, plus the $30 court fee.

39   curious2   538/538 = 100% civil   2012 Sep 12, 3:50am  ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

Telna Mobile uses T-Mobile's network and is cheaper than T-Mobile. They're still starting up though, with some bugs yet to work out.

Also, Republic Wireless offers "unlimited everything" on a flat rate by relying on WiFi when available and using cellular only when necessary:

The biggest carriers are the worst, because they rely on advertising and lobbying rather than innovation and service.

As for how scammers get your number, there are other possible explanations besides T-Mobile selling the number. One is brute force, robo-dialing every possible number. Another is a rogue employee; an AOL employee sold millions of AOL e-mail addresses to spammers, got caught, got fired, got arrested. T-Mobile's choice to profit from spam texts, though, is corporate policy, and seems unethical at best.

40   Pissed Tmobile user     2012 Sep 28, 9:10am  ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

I have prepaid Tmobile and now they block Google Voice when the minutes get low. The very time you want to make sure you care using GV. I tried every method to make sure calls went out on GV when I was on wifi and they were all routed against my minutes. This really sucks. I will be posting thing every where I can to make users aware.

41   mell   63/63 = 100% civil   2012 Sep 28, 9:17am  ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

Got a call just now from a nice lady at the "T-Mobile executive offices".

She said they were recording the call for "quality control" purposes.

I said that's great and I want to record the call too!

She said that's "not possible" and that we should communicate some other way. So we settled on email. I'm waiting for her email.

Haha! Epic..

42   BRING DOWN TMOBILE MFS     2012 Nov 27, 6:16am  ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

Darling, get Cricket, ya sometimes the lines get dropped and crapola, BUT, so did T-Mobiles! I pay $40 every month NO EXTRA FEES OR SURPRISES EVER with my bill. Same price I have paid for a year and a half now. I get unlimited text, unlimited international text, unlimited minutes, no contracts (month to month), you can cancel anytime with no fees, free web, etc, if you just use it for the necessities, it works great, T-Mobile is not cheaper. They just scammed my stupid sister twice. I reported them to the BBB. DO THAT!!!! Give them the bad rep they deserve. She bought an upgrade, guy in store assured her it would not get her in another contract, lo and behold, she got stuck for another 2 years. She was 1 person paying $80 a month, way too much. They also authorized her to charge shit on that account which was under MY NAME. So I had a fight about them having to switch her as the account holder not me since I had fulfilled my contracts years ago, which I advised her, once you pay your contract, cancel the God damn account and get your own plan under your own name, but irresponsible little girl, and since she has shit credit, they kept my name on and that means if she doesn't pay, I get fucked over with my credit which is excellent, they tricked me into making her an "authorized user" which I thought meant a change of responsibility, no it simply gave her more power. She no longer needed to call me to authorize with my social and password. That bastard was laughing and I felt weird, but he assured me that she would be switched over and its funny because they supposedly record their calls, but ya, I should've recorded it. I reported them to the BBB, and I told the woman to please reply through the BBB because I wanted PROOF of what she said to me, so finally, a bill of $547 went down to $347 which is still alot. They also charged "data" usage, and "prorated" amounts which still seems weird, but I just want to get it over with. They are horrible, I would NEVER go back to them. They fucking suck big dick and I remember years ago when I had them, they would charge me for text and picture messages and I NEVER used text, fortunately they would always refund me those amounts, but its fucking annoying having to be paranoid and check that bill like a psycho because IDC if it was $.10 I would call their ass and tell them to refund me something that was not valid. Always report them to the BBB. They really help! They are a voice to the consumers and at least their business will be out there or make a YouTube video of how shitty they are, but you have to do something. We, Americans, don't fight for our rights seriously, we just let the government do whatever, nah, its the principle that we are fighting for, not necessarily the money. Email me with any questions doll.

43   Beauxdensteiner     2012 Nov 30, 12:25pm  ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

I they get 2 billion free by ripping people off, don't you think that they can grease some palms (FCC, Gov, etc.) to be able to keep doing it???? Money talks and bullshit walks and daddy (CEO's etc.) needs a new yacht...

44   pianoman     2012 Nov 30, 1:40pm  ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

After more than 10 years of service with T mobie for 1000 minwebzones and350 texts for about 50 bucks, i just switched to REPUBLIC WIRELESS. Smart phone and unlimited. 22 dollars a month. Taxes included. No contracr.

45   pianoman     2012 Nov 30, 1:44pm  ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

Patrick, you will enjoy republic wireless.

46   Patrick   1777/1777 = 100% civil   2012 Nov 30, 2:05pm  ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

I think I'd like Republic Wireless, but they make you buy a new phone for $259.

It would be OK for one, but we've got four phones in the family...

47   Peter P   78/78 = 100% civil   2012 Nov 30, 3:35pm  ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

Use Sprint. Unlimited data.

I now use AT&T. With 5GB/month I don't even bother switching to wi-fi.

48   pianoman     2012 Dec 1, 12:00am  ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

I do not work for republic wireless, but it seems like a no brainer to me. Yes, you pay for the phone - but it is a smart phone and it is cool and compact, and has navigation and google calendar and all the the other whistles and bells. One usually pays for those phones! And the low monthly fee of 19 dollars soon enough pays for any initial purchase... I guess sharing 4 phones on one calling plan makes sense. I think Verizon has this kind of a business model.. Every single person out there, should look into republic wireless. I am happy with the quality. Now there is no wait and they have a dual band phone that covers all of the US, including the rural parts. I was expected to have a smart phone (everyone sends me hundreds if not thousands of texts and I am expected to find an address without going home to google it first!!!), I was not prepared to pay 80-100 EVERY month for the T mobile, or any of the other big monopoly boys.

49   Angie     2012 Dec 26, 1:53am  ↑ like (2)   ↓ dislike   quote    

I tried a t mobile smart phone - supposedly "free" and could turn it in withinin 14 days an only be charged minutes /tests used. I used at the MAX 60 minutes - maybe 10 short texts. I decided I did not like it, turned it back in in 10 days - and you got it- got billed for a full first month - which was supposed to be 89 dollars - but my bill had all these added fees - coming to 145.00. I wrote one letter - tried to get to customer service 10 times - sure enough, got another bill. To avoid insanity I paid it in full. I don't know why Americans are falling for these phones and the scams - I wonder why we are so complacent about these companies stealing from us? Apparently, not many people care that their cell phone bill could be a car payment. It's ridiculous. I bought a tracfone - yes - land of nerds. I could care less - I have it for emergencies and I am not a person who needs to live their life via their phone, so it works for me. Again, what stuns me is that people who can't even afford a house or are on food stamps buy these cell phones and pay 200 or more a month for them. I just don't get it.

50   mald07956     2013 Jan 23, 1:55pm  ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike   quote    


I have been phoning tmobile for months every month there are charges on my bill for texting a number a international number that I don't even know this month it was texted 39 times.they say its me they cant stop it. It is not me and I dont think I can be the only person this is happening to. am I ?

51   mell   63/63 = 100% civil   2013 Jan 28, 4:05am  ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike   quote    

I think I'd like Republic Wireless, but they make you buy a new phone for $259.

It would be OK for one, but we've got four phones in the family...

Hey Patrick, I took the bait and am switching to Republic. After that and a $30 Metro PCS everything-unlimited (service a bit spotty but who cares if you're not the president) I will have reduced our combined cell phone bills from $110 to $50. I will post an update about how well it works, the phone is supposed to arrive today.

52   mell   63/63 = 100% civil   2013 Feb 3, 4:48am  ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

So, a week in with Republic Wireless I really like it overall. The WifiSprint switch is seamless, 2 dropped calls so far and the Wifi calling quality is decent (with a very small delay). It remembers all the Wifi spots and the defy is a solid android phone with good battery life and all the touch screen functions work well. My number got ported from T-mobile within 24-48 hours. For $19/month ($23 with taxes and fees) unlimited everything at 3g (phone is 3g only) this is great.

53   reason1234567890     2013 Feb 18, 1:25am  ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike   quote    

groove ip

54   curious2   538/538 = 100% civil   2013 Sep 24, 3:10pm  ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

Bump. I switched away from T-Mobile, but they kept billing me anyway. TBTF behemoths survive on advertising to lure in new suckers, while outsourcing service to people who have hardly any authority and can barely speak English - if you can even reach a person via the badly programmed VRU. Experience has taught me to prefer smaller competitors that don't rely on huge TV ad buys.

55   curious2   538/538 = 100% civil   2014 Jul 5, 6:06am  ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

56   curious2   538/538 = 100% civil   2014 Jul 31, 9:28am  ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

57   APOCALYPSEFUCKisShostikovitch     2014 Jul 31, 11:05am  ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

Crucify Catherine Zeta-Jones!

58   Entitlemented   199/199 = 100% civil   2014 Jul 31, 12:36pm  ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

Patricks been using Tmobile - that will cost you 0.3K to get out of this mess!

59   HEY YOU   585/585 = 100% civil   2014 Jul 31, 1:27pm  ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

Damn this $20 Tracfone,60 min.prepaid as needed.I don't have time for the phone,too busy on Patnet.

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