AT&T customers are in for a holiday surprise this year.
About 2.7 million current and former customers of the wireless giant will receive a refund this year, the Federal Trade Commission said in a statement Thursday. Though AT&T and the FTC reached settlement terms in October 2014, the Commission announced that checks would start being sent in the mail Thursday.
In total, the customers will receive at least $80 million as part of a settlement AT&T reached with the FTC over third-party charges that were added to their bills without their consent, in a tactic known as "mobile cramming." The FTC claimed that the FTC profited by charging customers, usually in amounts of $9.99 per month, for ringtones and text message subscriptions with love tips, horoscopes and "fun facts." Not only did AT&T profit from those charges, but the company also refused to issue some refunds required by law, the FTC said.
Those who will receive refund checks in the upcoming months had to file a claim during a five-month period between late December 2014 and May 1, 2015. Of those customers, those who are current AT&T customers, about 2.5 million people, will see the refund in the form of credit on their bill within the next 75 days.
The remaining 300,000 customers will receive refund checks in the mail. The average refund check amounts to about $31.
If you're an affected customer who has a question about your refund, you can consult the FTC's website for more information, or call a refund administrator at 1-877-819-9692.