T-Mobile SMS Lawsuit to Proceed
T-Mobile USA lost a legal ruling last week when a U.S. District Court judge denied its motion to dismiss a lawsuit filed by a group of disgruntled T-Mobile subscribers, claiming the company charges them -- and millions of T-Mobile customers -- for unsolicited text messages.
According to the complaint, customers have no way to disable the phones from receiving text messages, and are forced to pay between 10 and 15 cents for every message - even if the message is unwanted.
The court's ruling allows the case, filed on Oct. 19, 2007, to move forward.
"This ruling is a big win for T-Mobile customers and we're looking forward to presenting our case to the court," said Steve Berman, managing partner of Hagens Berman, the firm representing the plaintiffs.
Currently, T-Mobile customers have few options for avoiding the charges for unwanted text messages, the complaint states. Customers can either continue receiving charges or terminate their cellular service contract before completion, which can result in early termination fees.
"We don't believe either option is tenable for the company's 27 million subscribers," continued Berman. "It is noteworthy that other carriers have found a way to allow customers to disable this function."
According to named plaintiff Marco Zaldivar, in addition to charging him for receipt of unwanted text messages, the company also failed to highlight this practice in his service contract.
Zaldivar claims that nowhere did T-Mobile advertising include the fact that the company charges customers for all incoming messages. He alleges that both online and in-store T-Mobile marketing materials only described text messaging as an optional service for an additional monthly fee.
Judge Richard Jones denied T-Mobile's attempt to dismiss the case, denying the company's legal argument that the complaint filed against them contained flaws in the way it made certain allegations.