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Government Sues Sprint Over Alleged Cramming

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, with an assist from the FCC, has filed suit against Sprint for illegally billing wireless customers for tens of millions of dollars in third-party charges that were never authorized. Sprint disputes the charges. In fact the company says it is a leader in combating them.

CFPB alleges that Sprint "crammed" the charges onto consumer bills and took its cut of the take. The bureau signaled it would hold all wireless carriers accountable for third-party charges their customers did not know about or authorize. It got an assist from the FCC's enforcement bureau in investigating the practices and CFPB said that Sprint was an enabler of the illegal charges, giving aggregators "unfettered access to consumers' wireless accounts."

It alleges that Sprint violated the Dodd-Frank Act prohibition on unfair practices by allowing illegal charges, billing consumers for them without their consent, disregarding "red flags" about third parties, and ignoring consumer complaints.

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