Sprint leaves its cramming ways in the past with a $50 million settlement

sprint iphone forever leasing promotion
dcwcreations / Shutterstock
Sprint was caught red-handed by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) back in May over “mobile cramming” charges, and now a judge approved a settlement that’s part of Sprint’s larger $68 million fine, reports Reuters.

The settlement, approved by U.S. District Court Judge William Pauley, has Sprint forking over $50 million to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). The remaining $18 million, meanwhile, will be doled out to federal and state fines. According to the settlement, the $50 million will be paid back to customers who were affected by Sprint’s cramming practices over a period of 10 years.

However, the settlement isn’t the end of things for either Sprint or the CFPB. Back when Sprint was slapped with the $68 million fine in May, Judge Pauley didn’t approve the agreement because both sides did not include enough details in the initially-filed papers. In addition, according to Reuters, Judge Pauley complained that entities wishing to receive approval for settlements see judges as nothing more than formality and expect a rubber stamp. Even though Judge Pauley did sign off on the agreement Tuesday, he didn’t reveal whether both Sprint and the CFPB addressed those concerns.

The charges stem from a particularly shady method of revenue collection, which involved Sprint adding seemingly minor increases to its customers’ bills for small fines and services, a practice known as cramming. The problem is, these additions add up, resulting in the monthly bill that’s much larger than what it actually should be. Sprint wasn’t the only one busted, though, as Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile were also fined for cramming.

After yesterday’s settlement, Verizon is the sole carrier that has yet to settle. In total, Verizon was fined $90 million for its cramming practices. Regardless, current and former Verizon customers can submit claims for refunds here, while Sprint customers can do so here. If you do submit a claim, don’t expect a check in your mailbox for at least a couple of months, as customers have until December 31, 2015 if they have had any un-refunded PSMS charges billed since July 1, 2010.


Jury fines Apple $32 million for infringing on three Qualcomm patents

In a serious blow to Apple in its legal battle against Qualcomm, a San Diego jury fined Apple $32 million for infringing on three Qualcomm-owned patents. The decision marks the latest news in a string of court dates for the two companies.

Free yourself! How to unlock a phone from the icy hands of your wireless carrier

Do you want to know how to unlock a phone through your carrier or a third-party service like DoctorSIM? Regardless of which way you want to go, we've compiled a list of requirements and methods for doing so.
Emerging Tech

Don’t get burned! How to back crowdfunding projects the smart way

In the world of crowdfunding, there’s no such thing as a sure thing. There's a million reasons why a project might fail. But with this handy guide, you'll be able to spot the signs of a sketchy project and decrease your chances of getting…

5G is going to cost you a few bucks more, at least on Verizon

Verizon is in the midst of a massive 5G rollout. In addition to fixed 5G service, it will also begin deploying mobile 5G in the coming months. Here's everything you need to know about Verizon's 5G network and when it will be in your town.

iPad Air vs. iPad Mini: Which new tablet from Apple is best for you?

Apple has unveiled two new iPad models, including a new iPad Air and a new iPad Mini. Both devices have a lot to offer. But which iPad is right for your needs? We put the iPad Air and iPad Mini to the test to find out.

The best Apple AirPods alternatives for Android, Windows, and iOS devices

Apple AirPods, nice as they are, aren't the only game in town. Other makers are offering their own truly wireless earbuds, and if you're looking to buy a pair of high-end in-ear headphones, we've got the best AirPod alternatives on the…

Even older Apple Watches could be effective at spotting heart conditions

The Apple Watch Series 4 is known for detecting heart conditions like atrial fibrillation thanks to having an electrocardiograph feature. It turns out that older Apple Watches could be effective at tracking AFib, too.

The Black Shark 2’s Ludicrous Mode promises the smoothest mobile gaming

Xiaomi-backed Black Shark has a follow-up to last year's Black Shark gaming phone, complete with high specs and a low price. Here's everything we know about the Black Shark 2 gaming phone.

Need a new tablet? Here are the best iPad deals for March 2019

In the wide world of tablets, Apple is still the king. If you're on team Apple and just can't live without iOS, we've curated an up-to-date list of all of the best iPad deals currently available for March 2018.

Amazon drops price on Apple Watch Series 4 with a rare deal

Since Apple first unveiled the Series 4, the price for one has pretty much held fast. This has finally started to change with a nice little $15 discount on Amazon. If you've been wanting the newest Apple Watch, now is a great time.

Sending SMS messages from your PC is easier than you might think

Texting is a fact of life, but what to do when you're in the middle of something on your laptop or just don't have your phone handy? Here's how to send a text message from a computer, whether you prefer to use an email client or Windows 10.

Google's midrange Pixels might be called the Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL

The Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL are considered to be two of the best Android smartphones, but it looks like Google could be prepping a midrange line. Say hello to the Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL.

Angry Birds AR: Isle of Pigs brings 3D demolition into your living room

Angry Birds is releasing its next entry in the spring of 2019 - with a new spin. Bringing 3D environments and destruction, Angry Birds AR: Isle of Pigs uses augmented reality to add a new dimension to a classic series.

Whether by the pool or the sea, make a splash with the best waterproof phones

Whether you're looking for a phone you can use in the bath, or you just want that extra peace of mind, waterproof phones are here and they're amazing. Check out our selection of the best ones you can buy.