back to article AT&T dinged for $7.75m after letting scammers gouge customers (again)

US telco giant AT&T has been fined $7.75m after scammers were found sneaking bogus charges onto customer bills. The punishment was levied by America's comms watchdog the FCC. The regulator said the US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) was to thank for uncovering the scam in which criminals were duping landline customers into …

  1. ma1010 Silver badge

    Why am I not surprised?

    Here we have AT&T at it's finest as an accessory to larceny out stealing EVEN MORE from their customers. Aren't their inflated rates enough in the way of theft? Not for them!

    These buggers used to charge me almost $10 a month for long distance service which didn't actually INCLUDE any calls - it was just a fee for allowing me to make long distance calls. I didn't make any, but I still had to pay this bogus fee. (Note: this was NOT the government-mandated long distance access fee, but something extra AT&T came up with.)

    I dumped them years ago and went with a small, local telco that gives me everything AT&T did and more - for less money. With the added bonus that they're honest and have NEVER tried to cram my bill with bogus charges.

    1. ecofeco Silver badge

      Re: Why am I not surprised?

      Ah bill cramming. Those were the days.

      Oh wait, they still are.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "a tool for drug traffickers, money launderers, and other unscrupulous third parties to fleece American[s]".

    Right, I'm surprised AT&T didn't go after these "third parties" for muscling onto their turf. Fleecing consumers is AT&T's racket. Having seen several simple TV/internet bills that are never the same two moths in a row, and require a call every month to "remind" them of the promotional rate that keeps "mysteriously disappearing from your account".

  3. Shadow Systems Silver badge

    Unfortunately this means fek-all...

    AT&T may pay the fine to get the feds off their back, but then they will turn right around & raise the rates so their customer's end up footing the bill in perpetuity.

    Not one single VP or CxO will lose so much as a single penny out of their obscenely over-stuffed pockets, the share holder's won't even notice it as a rounding error, but the customer's will find the "charges, fees, & fines" suddenly increased by ~$1 to cover "operating expenses"... aka 10Million customers at $1 each easily covers the cost of the fed penalty AND further fattens the AT&T coffers quite nicely.

    Unless the feds somehow monitored the customer bills & slapped the fek out of AT&T for trying this particular shite maneuver, AT&T will just consider this the cost of doing business.

    Bastards. Greedy fekkin bastards the whole lot o' 'em.

    1. Nunyabiznes

      Re: Unfortunately this means fek-all...

      This type of action won't stop until senior management is held personably responsible. If they are going to be paid the big bucks (oh and they are) they should shoulder the big responsibility also.

      1. Efros

        Re: Unfortunately this means fek-all...

        Jail the fekkers!

        1. Walter Bishop Silver badge

          Re: Unfortunately this means fek-all...

          I suspect AT&T aren't as innocent as they make out and were happy to scam their own customers.

          1. ecofeco Silver badge

            Re: Unfortunately this means fek-all...

            I also suspect water is wet.

            Have an up vote.

  4. RedneckMother

    Electric Light Orchestra

    You know you gotta Ma-Ma-Ma Belle, or I will get you...

  5. Anonymous 16

    EE is also in bed with scammers

    Here in UK we have the bastards at EE billing that think that a random click in a popup window of a browser is sufficent justification for them to sign up people to Buongiorno's service that places three to four micro charges on a users bill randomly every month. On threatening them with a complaint to OFCOM and spreading the word on social media they instantly appologiseput a stop to the charges and give a refund. In hindsight I should have sued them.

  6. Version 1.0 Silver badge

    AT&T is a phone company?

    I thought that there were scammers - all my dealings with them had all the hallmarks of being scammed.

  7. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    "This isn't the first time AT&T has been fined"

    And what of the 3 strikes rule ?

    Oh, silly me. That's only applied to poor people.

  8. Nameless Faceless Computer User

    Not surprised. My first contract with AT&T included 30 free minutes. When my 2nd month's bill came in, it was apparent that I was not to receive 30 free minutes a month but rather just 30 free minutes... then billed per minute for the rest of the contract. They were fined for that one as well. I didn't see any money back. I was issued a long distance pre-paid card. yippie.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    When a doing a break fix yesterday a SMB customer asked me if Uverse internet was a good product. I responded, "It was a horrible product and run when they try to sign you up".

    I have installed this in many cities and all I could see is horribly trained techs screwing up the cross boxes (customer connections) that the very well trained IR techs took years to keep maintained correctly.

    Houston was by far the worst for customers, ATT should refund all copper line customers

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