T-Mobile Agrees to Pay $40 Million Fine for Using ‘False Ringtones’ in Rural Areas

John Legere
The Associated Press

T-Mobile has agreed to pay a $40 million fine for using banned “false ringtones,” especially in rural areas to “give the impression faulty calls were actually getting through.”

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) explained that false ringtones “cause callers to believe that the phone is ringing at the called party’s premises when it is not,” which can “cause rural businesses to lose revenue, impede medical professionals from reaching patients in rural areas, cut families off from their relatives, and create the potential for dangerous delays in public safety communications.”

According to Reuters, T-Mobile, “acknowledged that false ring tones were used on hundreds of millions of long-distance rural calls in violation of FCC rules.”

The practice was described as “massively deceptive and harmful” by Democratic FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn, who claimed T-Mobile had used it on “billions of telephone calls to rural areas over the past several years.”

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai also released a statement, declaring, “[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.”

Charlie Nash is a reporter for Breitbart Tech. You can follow him on Twitter @MrNashington, or like his page at Facebook.