Numerous mobile content providers settled several class-action lawsuits today that stemmed from alleged unauthorized charges on users’ wireless bills.
Flycell, Glomobi, Mobilefunster, Thumbplay, WebAMG Holdings, Glispa and Motricity were all named in the lawsuits, and collectively put the cases to rest by agreeing to settlements in the amount of $9M and attorney’s fees of up to $1.85M. In a press release on the subject, all companies were clear in saying that “each of the Defendants has denied any wrongful conduct, and the settlement is in no way a judgment or ruling by the Court that the Defendants did anything wrong.”
In addition to the payout, the companies involved are required to agree to adhere to certain consumer protection practices including properly disclosing billing terms as well as promptly refunding unauthorized content. Since the early days of mobile content downloads and services, which are usually monetized via minor charges to one’s wireless bill, deceptive practices have always plagued the industry. From parents demanding refunds for the content their children downloaded, to users simply not realizing their being charged for downloading a ringtone, it’s long been a murky subject.
Settlement members are eligible to receive a one-time cash award of $10.00, or a refund of up to three months of content subscription charges. Members of the settlement class include anybody in the U.S. and its territories who, at any time prior to August 27, 2010, were charged, damaged, or otherwise lost money as a result of unauthorized content from any of the settling Defendants. People can find out if they’re eligible by scanning past phone records for short codes that identify the various mobile content companies.