June 14, 2012
WASHINGTON, DC – Senator Jay Rockefeller today introduced new legislation aimed at protecting consumers from “cramming”, or unauthorized third party charges that appear on telephone bills. Rockefeller’s bill would ban third party charges for traditional wireline telephone users and VoIP internet phone services, while directing the FCC to develop rules that would protect wireless users from unauthorized charged.
Consumers Union, the policy and advocacy division of Consumer Reports, said the bill was a good step in ensuring that all consumers are protected from cramming charges, regardless of their telephone provider.
“These cramming scams take advantage of millions of customers each year. This legislation is a much needed step to stop these predatory practices and ensure that consumers are only being charged for services they approved,” said Parul P. Desai, policy counsel for Consumers Union. “Wireless phone users deserve the same protections as wireline and VoIP customers, especially as more consumers are moving away from landlines and towards wireless technology. The same cramming abuses that happen on landlines can easily happen to wireless users. It is imperative that any directive for the FCC to develop these wireless cramming rules be carried out quickly and efficiently.”