The government of New York City has sued T-Mobile over allegedly violating the consumer protection regulations in the city. The allegations are mainly centered on T-Mobile Metro stores, a prepaid, low-cost wireless initiative by the mobile carrier. As per the complaint, T-Mobile allegedly used abusive sales strategies, like selling refurbished phones disguised as new and overcharging customers for services they did not order.
The city’s DCWP (Department of Consumer and Worker Protection) claims that it has recorded over 2,200 violations executed by 56 Metro shops located in all 5 boroughs of NYC. These include cases in which T-Mobile allegedly signed up its customers to expensive e-sign leasing agreements without their consent.
Besides, the carriers also allegedly inserted additional taxes to advertised cost for a phone. In around 21 instances that are known to New York City, these Metro stores also sold used phones as though they were new.
A T-Mobile spokesperson told CNET that what the carrier is being alleged of is entirely in disagreement with the nobility of its team. The complaint also clashes with commitment the team has of looking after its customers each day, the spokesperson added.
The city lawsuit comes as NY State AG (Attorney General) Letitia James, as well as fifteen AGs from other states, are trying to block a Sprint-T-Mobile merger. In July, the US Department of Justice had approved this merger. However, the law officials of the state say that the deal may lower competition for mobile plans as well as lead to increased costs for the customers.
Although the city suit doesn’t affect the AG’s lawsuit directly, the new allegations may offer extra ammunition against the Sprint-T-Mobile merger.
This isn’t the first time that T-Mobile is hit by a legal battle. The company previously was fined by the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) as it failed to address the ongoing call disruptions affecting rural subscribers. Moreover, in 2013, the National Advertising Division had also slammed T-Mobile back for allegedly getting involved in abusive advertising practice.