Depending on who you ask, it looks like T-Mobile got off easy over the case of the falsified ring tones. The Federal Communications Commission said that they are giving the carrier a fine of $40 million over the claims that they used fake ring tones in order to give the impression that calls were getting through in rural areas when they were not. The company acknowledged their culpability and agreed to pay the fine probably rather than risk worse punishment from the FCC.
During the period of January 2017, T-Mobile users in the rural areas were given false ring tones by their carrier to give the impression that the calls were getting through, when in fact they were not. Hundreds of millions of calls were affected by this. This resulted in lost revenue for business, impeded medical help to get to the patients, affected relations among family members and even created potentials for “dangerous delays in public safety communications.”
The FCC banned carriers from broadcasting false ring tones back in 2014, but T-Mobile admitted it still used them for out-of-network calls for some customers. The incidents in January 2017 was “unintentional” according to them and they have since then corrected it. They agreed to pay $40 million in fines to the FCC as part of their commitment to their customers across the country.
But Democratic FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn said that the fine was too little considering the harm that they caused. She said that there is “absolutely nothing in this consent decree to compensate customers.”