National Consumers League

Letter to Cordray calling on CFPB to investigate T-Mobile for abusive debt collection

December 10, 2015

The Honorable Richard Cordray
Director
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
1700 G Street, NW
Washington, DC 20552

Dear Director Cordray:

As Executive Director of the National Consumers League, I wish to call your attention to a matter that might be of concern to your agency. A group named Change to Win (“CtW”) has recently issued a report alleging abusive debt collection practices by wireless carrier T-Mobile.[1]

NCL has reviewed some of the findings in the CtW report and while we haven’t done our own investigation, we think the matters discussed in the report warrant a close look by the CFPB. In particular, we are concerned with allegations, based on a review of consumer complaints and analysis of the company’s advertising, that T-Mobile may have engaged in the following business practices:

  • Targeting low income communities and communities of color with potentially deceptive advertising; and
  • Potentially abusive debt collection practices.

NCL is concerned that, if true and left unchecked, these business practices could become commonplace throughout the entire wireless industry. We also note that T-Mobile objects to the findings of the CtW report and argues that they are inaccurate.[2]

This makes it all the more important for the CFPB – as the expert agency with jurisdiction over consumer financial products – to review the evidence and determine whether CtW’s allegations have merit. If they do, we suggest the Bureau take steps to address any conduct that runs afoul of the Bureau’s regulatory scheme and/or consumer protection laws.

Thank you for your attention to our concerns.

Sincerely,

Sally Greenberg
Executive Director
National Consumers League



[1] Change to Win. “Groups Call for Federal Investigation into T-Mobile’s Deceptive Advertising and Abusive Debt Collection Policies,” Press Release. December 8, 2015. Online: http://callingouttmobile.com/press-room/

[2] Wang, Jules. “Legere attacks USA TODAY for reporting on alegations against T-Mobile,” Pocketnow. December 8, 2015. Online: http://pocketnow.com/2015/12/08/t-mobile-allegations