T-Mobile Bills for the Bill, Class Claims

     ST. LOUIS (CN) - T-Mobile wrongfully charges customers a monthly fee just to receive their bill, a class action claims in Federal Court. As of Friday, Sept. 12, T-Mobile says it will charge customers $1.50 a month for a summary of their bill and $3.49 if they want details of it.
     T-Mobile used to send customers a monthly bill summary and a detailed description, but started sending only a summary on Feb. 28, 2008 to cut down on costs. Customers who want a paper copy of the detailed description must pay $1.99 a month, the suit states.
     Named plaintiffs Dennis McKinney and Mallory LaBoube say that T-Mobile announced that as of Sept. 12, it would not even mail the bill summary to customers.
     Customers who want a paper summary will have to pay $1.50 a month and those who want the summary and detailed description will have to pay $3.49 monthly.
     T-Mobile suggested that customers opt for electronic billing and said it will provide both the summary and detailed description online for free, the suit states.
     The plaintiffs also claim that T-Mobile charged them a cancellation fee of $50 to $200 per phone when they canceled their service due to the changes.
     They say those fees were material modifications to the contracts that harmed them. By not letting customers cancel service without a fee, T-Mobile essentially trapped customers into paying the charges, the class claims.
     The suit contains three different classes: those who canceled their contracts due to the monthly fees for paper copies of bills and who actually incurred early cancellation fees; those who incurred the monthly $1.99 fees for paper copies of detailed bills; and those who incurred the $1.50 monthly charge for bill summaries.
     The class seeks damages and wants the charges voided. They are represented by John Mendler Jr.