On Tuesday of this week, we all got to see Washington politics and the big carrier lobbyists at their best. While I love our democracy, I hate the way D.C. works some times, and I just could not sit still and let them get away with it.
The FTC certainly did a good job of sensationalizing their story and their news at the expense of both T-Mobile’s reputation and mine. My frontline employees are upset about it and so am I. I considered leaving it alone, but I have to set the record straight.
We can continue this conversation later, but right now, I need to bring the focus of this discussion back to the only thing that matters….CUSTOMERS!
T-Mobile and I stand for one thing: doing right by consumers!
It is fundamental to who I am, the type of company I run, and the industry changes we are forcing, and it’s at the core of our people.
First, let me make this very clear. T-Mobile is NOT participating in any form of cramming, stuffing charges for un-purchased services, or trying to be anything less than totally transparent with each of our customers. PERIOD!
It is true, that back in 2009 thru 2013, all of the big carriers in the wireless industry, including T-Mobile, began carrying what became known as the Premium SMS services. We were all billing for these services on behalf of the content providers who were responsible for obtaining the customers’ authorizations. As we all know now, there were some fraudsters in that bunch. That is why, as we found them, we terminated them and, ultimately, made the decision in November 2013, as did all four of the wireless companies, to eliminate this from our service offerings. FULL STOP!
Despite the exaggeration of the FTC, this was neither a big nor important business for us, and their financial claims are incredibly overstated. Additionally, those third-party content business operators are pretty much out of business. This was an easy Un-carrier decision!
Second, T-Mobile has in the past and will continue to keep our pledge to bill customers only for what they want and what they have purchased for as long as I am CEO of this company! NO EXCUSES!
Third and final, I wanted to make sure that there was no unsettled business, so I directed our team to create and announce a Proactive Refund Program, which we did on June 10th. To make sure we are doing all the right things, I have instructed our marketing and customer care teams to double down their outreach effort to all potentially affected customers – current and past – who believe that they were inappropriately billed and/or paid for one of these Premium SMS services that they did not want or authorize – and provide refunds. This program is being launched in a few days. DOING WHAT IS RIGHT!
As the Un-carrier and its CEO, it is important to me that consumers know that T-Mobile can always be counted on to do the right thing! I hope this blog makes it abundantly clear where I stand, and where this company stands!
You all know I can rant about injustice for a long time, but this weeks’ commentary has been sensational and created confusion for our customers and for my employees. I had to make sure the truth was heard loud and clear!
President & CEO