T-Mobile accused of deceptive advertising, other bad business practices


Several labor unions are accusing mobile provider T-Mobile of unethical business practices.

A complaint was filed with the Federal Communications Commission Wednesday by a group called Change to Win Retail Initiatives asking the FCC to investigate the mobile carrier. The group is backed by three unions — the United Farm Workers of America, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters and the Service Employees International Union.

Since 2013, T-Mobile has added nearly 27 million customers, but Change to Win Retail Initiatives is claiming that growth may be due in part to signing customers up for services they did not order, such as device insurance. Additionally, the complaint alleges that T-Mobile’s advertising does not make it clear that customers who sign up with T-Mobile’s no-contract plan are required to buy a phone on an installment plan or lease one through T-Mobile and if the customer cancels the service, they will still be on the hook for the cost of the phone. In those cases, the unpaid cost of the phone could potentially be more than the service termination fee.

Change to Win reportedly conducted a survey of over 5,500 customer complaints between January 2013 and September 2015. The group claims to have found a pattern of complaints from people who said they were signed up for things like unlimited data plans or device insurance without their knowledge or consent and then had problems canceling the services.

Though the complaint has been filed, no federal agency has taken any action against T-Mobile.


About the Author: Bill Mayeroff

After five years as a newspaper reporter in western Illinois and two more as a freelancer in Chicago, Bill's life has gone to the dogs in the best way possible. These days, Bill lives in Chicago's Rogers Park neighborhood with his terrier mix, Chester, and works at a small, no-kill animal shelter while he studies to be a professional dog trainer. His non-work and non-TalkAndroid time is spent finding the best beer in Chicago, playing with Chester, watching roller derby and occasionally writing. Besides TalkAndroid, Bill writes about dogs and beer at Pints and Pups (www.chicagonow.com/pints-pups) and contributes beer news and commentary at SommBeer (www.sommbeer.com). Bill's Android gear of choice for the moment is his trusty LG G3.

  • Jason Walker

    99% of this could be solved by reading what you sign