Feeds

Calif. court OKs suit against Nextel billing 'spam'

Millions at stake, but for whom?

The essential guide to IT transformation

A US consumer lobby group has won an appeal to sue Nextel over "text messages spam" sent to customers – three years ago.

Last week, a California Court of Appeal overturned a lower court decision to block legal action against the cellco (now called Sprint Nextel) over alleged unfair billing practices.

According to the Foundation for Taxpayers and Consumer Rights (FTCR), which is fighting the case, Nextel should refund maybe millions of dollars to customers who were mistakenly charged on 12 September - the day the cellco got its wires crossed over "phony text messages" sent out by mistake. On that day Nextel sent four texts to each customer, at up to 60c a pop.

To put this into perspective, customers were ripped off to the tune of $2.40 - max - each. In the scheme of things, this is not a great hurt to individual customers. But what really gets the FTCR's goat is Nextel's alleged response to the SNAFU, namely to refund only those customers who figured out they were charged for the messages and then called the company to claim a refund.

From the sound of it, customers who jumped through those hoops were few and far between. To uncover the gouging-by-text in the first place, one would have had to be a hyper-scrutinizing skinflint, or blessed with second sight. For in October 2003, Nextel stopped itemized billing and "unilaterally ceased providing itemization of all phone calls on its monthly bill. Customers "were told they would have to pay $2.50 per phone for the information," according to the FTCR. "The lack of an itemized bill makes it impossible to determine whether charges are accurate," it adds.

The FCTR, which has pursued Nextel since 2003, wants the company to change its billing practices.

Press release here. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
6 Obvious Reasons Why Facebook Will Ban This Article (Thank God)
Clampdown on clickbait ... and El Reg is OK with this
So, Apple won't sell cheap kit? Prepare the iOS garden wall WRECKING BALL
It can throw the low cost race if it looks to the cloud
EE fails to apologise for HUGE T-Mobile outage that hit Brits on Friday
Customer: 'Please change your name to occasionally somewhere'
Time Warner Cable customers SQUEAL as US network goes offline
A rude awakening: North Americans greeted with outage drama
We need less U.S. in our WWW – Euro digital chief Steelie Neelie
EC moves to shift status quo at Internet Governance Forum
EE plonks 4G in UK Prime Minister's backyard
OK, his constituency. Brace yourself for EXTRA #selfies
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.