New York City sues T-Mobile, alleging 'abusive' sales tactics

New York City sues T-Mobile, alleging 'abusive' sales tactics
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New York City is suing T-Mobile over its "abusive" sales tactics, accusing the telecom giant of taking advantage of its millions of low-income and immigrant customers.

The city — led by a top consumer affairs official — said in a lawsuit filed Wednesday that it has evidence that T-Mobile's prepaid wireless brand, Metro, has been selling cheaply made phones to customers and enrolling them in expensive plans without their consent.

The city is suing T-Mobile and dozens of Metro stores in New York City, alleging that the phone company and its prepaid subsidiary have violated the city's "consumer protection law thousands of times."

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"Companies that blatantly scam New Yorkers must be held accountable,” New York City Mayor Bill de BlasioBill de BlasioNYPD creates special unit for far-right and neo-Nazi threats Mayor accuses de Blasio of dumping New York's homeless in Newark Conservatives must absolutely talk politics at the Thanksgiving table MORE, a Democrat who is running for president, said in a statement. “We are doing everything in our power to make sure that T-Mobile ends these deceptive practices and that customers who were taken advantage of get the restitution they are owed.”

The lawsuit, filed in the state Supreme Court in Manhattan, alleges that T-Mobile's Metro brand "deceives customers about its stingy return policy."

And the city is accusing the Metro stores of selling used phones to customers while claiming they were new, charging "fake taxes" and pushing customers to enroll in plans.

The lawsuit, which follows a yearlong investigation by the city, alleges it has identified more than 2,200 consumer protection violations across 56 Metro stores.

T-Mobile in a statement said it is "continuing to investigate so we can respond to the city."

"Though we can’t comment on the specific claims at this early stage, what we are seeing alleged here is completely at odds with the integrity of our team and the commitment they have to taking care of our customers every day," the company said in a statement.

Prepaid wireless brands often attract low-income and immigrant customers, as they do not require credit history.

The lawsuit comes as New York Attorney General Letitia James (D) is leading a lawsuit to block the $26 billion merger between T-Mobile and Sprint. That litigation is ongoing.