One of the nation's largest phone companies has agreed to pay a $40 million fine and change its ways after admitting it provided customers with falsified ring tones on calls that never really got through to the other party.
The issue involves hundreds of millions of calls made over the years to phones that were outside of service coverage. To the dialer, it sounded as if those calls were going through, but the "ringing" they heard wasn't an indication of anything happening at the other end.
In reality, the call didn't have a chance.
In a consent decree with the FCC, T-Mobile admits to the practice and the penalty, agreeing to cease such activity.
FCC chairman Ajit Pai said in a statement 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.”
In a statement provided to ABC21, T-Mobile added:
T-Mobile is committed to all of our customers across the country. Our actions have always been focused on better serving our customers and the ringtone oversight, which was corrected in January 2017, was unintentional. We have settled this matter -- and will continue to focus on our mission to change for wireless for good for consumers everywhere.