FCC adopts rules to stop phone bill 'cramming'

The Federal Communications Commission has enacted new rules to keep unauthorized fees off consumers' landline phone bills.
The practice, called "cramming," tacks on fees for services such as voicemail or long distance from third-parties to consumer bills.



The rules will require phone companies to notify customers that they can block third-party charges as well as push companies to separate those fees when listing them on phone bills.
The agency is also considering additional measures such as requiring phone companies to seek customers' permission before including third-party charges.

The FCC says 15 to 20 million Americans find "cramming" fees on their phone bills every year.
"This is both about making sure consumers aren't getting ripped off and also about fostering trust in communication services," said FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski when he proposed the anti-cramming rules last year.
To avoid "cramming," the FCC suggests consumers carefully review their phone bills and reach out to phone companies if you question any unusual fees.

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