T-Mobile USA has agreed to pay $40 million to settle a complaint after admitting it did not complete phone calls, and generated fake ringing content to make people believe the other party was not picking up.

The areas were predominantly rural, and rather than fixing its infrastructure problems, T-Mobile made it seem calls to these dead zones were ringing but never answered.

From the FCC order:

To settle this matter, T-Mobile admits that it violated the Commission’s prohibition
against the insertion of false ring tones and that it did not correct problems with delivery of calls to certain
rural areas. T-Mobile agrees to implement a compliance plan and to pay a $40,000,000 civil penalty.

The rule T-Mobile violated went into effect in January of 2014, so T-Mobile’s had a bit of time to get their act together and didn’t. Should you be interested in perusing that text, you can find it here.

T-Mobile is not required to issue any refunds or discounts to affected customers.

[ARS Technica]