MANHATTAN (CN) - Sprint made hundreds of millions of dollars by giving crammers "virtually unfettered access" to wireless customers' accounts for a decade, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau claimed in court Wednesday.
The CFPB claims that Sprint charged its wireless customers for unauthorized third-party charges from 2004 until December 2013.
"These charges cost Sprint's customers millions of dollars each year," the 12-page lawsuit states.
It adds: "While its customers suffered losses, Sprint retained 40 percent of the gross revenue it collected for third-party charges, totaling hundreds of millions of dollars."
The CFPB claims that Sprint's billing and payment procession system "gave third parties virtually unfettered access to its customers' accounts," allowing crammers to add unauthorized charges onto wireless bills.
The CFPB claims that Sprint automatically enrolled customers in the third-party billing system "without their knowledge, much less their consent," so many customers were unaware of the unauthorized charges.
To cap it off, the bureau says: "Sprint continued to operate its flawed system despite numerous red flags, such as high refund rates and complaints from customers, law-enforcement agencies, and consumer groups."
The CFPB seeks disgorgement, restitution, penalties for violations of the Consumer Financial Protection Act of 2010, costs and an injunction.