On Monday, attorneys general from 17 states filed comments with the Federal Communications Commission asking the regulator to ban all billing of third-party, non-telecommunications-related services to consumers’ phone bills.
The comments were filed in response to the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking released by the FCC this summer seeking comment on proposals designed to help consumers detect and prevent the placement of unauthorized charges on their telephone bills, a practice known as “cramming.”
The state AGs’ comments maintain that the states have previously tried many of the other measures proposed by the FCC and found them to be largely ineffective. Because of the difficulty stopping cramming and making consumers whole after being victimized, the AGs advocate banning all third-party charges to telephone bills except those directly related to telecommunications services, such as operator assistance and collect calls. Should the FCC not want to adopt a total ban, the AGs ask for measures that ban the addition of third-party charges to consumers’ phone bills unless consumers specifically request that the billing option be made available on their account(s).
Lastly, the AGs asked the FCC to expand the scope of anti-cramming measures to include consumers’ wireless telephone accounts as well as accounts for landline telephones, which are the focus of the FCC’s proposed rulemaking.
The FCC’s comment period closed on October 24. However, interested parties may file reply comments with the Commission until November 21.
Go here to read the comments filed by the Attorneys General.
Go here to read the FCC’s proposed anti-cramming measures.