T-Mobile Misled Callers With Fake Ringtones In Failed Outgoing Calls, Fined $40M

Image via Shutterstock

T-Mobile is slapped with a $40 million fine after the United States Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced that the mobile communications company has been putting fake ring tones when calls were not able to connect in rural areas.

In an order which was released on Monday, FCC said that an investigation was launched after T-Mobile callers were not able to reach customers served by three rural areas in Wisconsin, despite T-Mobile acknowledging that it has already fixed the issue.

According to FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, “It is a basic tenet of the nation’s phone system that calls be completed to the called party, without a reduction in the call quality—even when the calls pass through intermediate providers. The FCC is committed to ensuring that phone calls to all Americans, including rural Americans, go through.”

The FCC said that T-Mobile has placed false ringtones into “hundreds of millions of calls” to trick callers into thinking that the phone was ringing at the other end of the line. These “false ringtones” have also “created a misleading impression” that the service provider is not deemed responsible for the failed call.

FCC further explained that problems in the rural call completion “have significant and immediate public interest ramifications. They cause rural businesses to lose revenue, impede medical professionals from reaching patients in rural areas, cut families off from their relatives, and create the potential for dangerous delays in public safety communications.”

T-Mobile has agreed to the $40 million fine for failing to correct the affected calls and injecting false ring tones. The company has also planned to fix the outstanding issue.

[via CNBC, opening image via Shutterstock]

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