T-Mobile has been selling used phones claiming they were new, overcharging customers and engaging in “deceptive” practices that hurt consumers, a new lawsuit claims.
New York City on Wednesday hit the wireless carrier with a lawsuit in Manhattan Supreme Court claiming it violated the city’s Consumer Protection Law, Mayor Bill de Blasio and Department of Consumer and Worker Protection Commissioner Lorelei Salas said in a release.
The suit claims T-Mobile, its subsidiary Metro by T-Mobile (formerly known as MetroPCS) and dozens of T-Mobile dealers and stores across New York City violated the law “thousands of times,” the release said.
The lawsuit comes after a year-long investigation examining the company’s business practices, according to the city.
“Companies that blatantly scam New Yorkers must be held accountable,” de Blasio said in the release. “We are doing everything in our power to make sure that T-Mobile ends these deceptive practices and that customers who were taken advantage of get the restitution they are owed.”
The lawsuit claims DCWP got a “stream of complaints” from people who were “unknowingly sold used phones,” according to the release. It also claims Metro charged some customers “undisclosed and illegal activation fees, and for unwanted products and services like GPS navigation, extra lines and hotspot capability,” the release says.
T-Mobile’s Metro-branded website, meanwhile, claims consumers have 30 days to return phones, but it actually has a seven-day return policy for phones bought in-store — and “all purchases are in-store because it is impossible to buy a phone from the Metro website,” the release says.
The suit also alleges T-Mobile doesn’t provide customers with legal receipts.
In a statement on Thursday, T-Mobile said it was looking into the matter.
“We take these allegations very seriously and are continuing to investigate so we can respond to the city,” the company said.
“Though we can’t comment on the specific claims at this early stage, what we are seeing alleged here is completely at odds with the integrity of our team and the commitment they have to taking care of our customers every day,” it added.