backtop


Print 13 comment(s) - last by Flunk.. on Jul 31 at 9:58 AM


Check your landline bill, you may be getting "crammed"
Most people billed don't even get the services charged for

In years past, just about everyone had a home phone or landline. Today it is becoming more and more common for people to only have a mobile phone and no landline in their home. Those that do have a landline in their home need to keep an eye on their bill as a new report has surfaced that Americans are being charged for a huge amount of unauthorized services each month.

A study that lasted for a year was published by the Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee and found that Americans were charged about $2 billion in so-called mystery fees in a single year which is called “cramming”. The charges show up on the often confusing bills for landline phone services and typically the customer billed never receives the services charged for. A hearing was held in Washington to ask major telecom companies what the charges are about.

Senator Jay Rockefeller, a Democrat from West Virginia, asked an industry rep why major telecom firms like AT&T hadn’t stopped the unauthorized charges on phone bills by third parties. Rockefeller said, "It's illegal, it's wrong, it's scamming. Why haven't you cleaned up your act?"

The industry representative the question was posed to is Walter McCormick, president and CEO of the U.S. Telecom Association. McCormick said, "The industry has taken significant steps. Even the report that you issued today indicates that there has been improvement, but it remains a very, very significant, very pervasive problem."

The report also points out that the phone companies receive a fee of a few dollars from the third-party billers and these fees can add up to a significant amount over time with the number of customers the phone companies have. AT&T, Verizon, and Qwest made about $650 million over the last five years from these fees alone.

Washington is also being joined by a number of states in the fight against these unauthorized charges. 



Comments     Threshold


This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

Fees?
By tng on 7/14/2011 3:59:25 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
AT&T, Verizon, and Qwest made about $650 million over the last five years from these fees alone.
Most places don't call this a fee, I think the correct term is Payola. Hmmmmm.... maybe it should be Kickback..... Oh, oh, I got it, Protection Money.....

Whatever it should be called it is not a Fee.




RE: Fees?
By mindless1 on 7/16/2011 4:10:10 PM , Rating: 2
But it IS a fee. Whether the charges are legit or not, the telco charges this fee to the supposed "service provider" as the collection agent.

A few years back we had one of these fraudulent charges show up on the bill and from what I gathered at the time, the phone company doesn't do much if anything to keep this from happening (though I could be wrong and it happens a lot but a small % still slip through the cracks) but will not resist a request to have the charges removed.


"We are going to continue to work with them to make sure they understand the reality of the Internet.  A lot of these people don't have Ph.Ds, and they don't have a degree in computer science." -- RIM co-CEO Michael Lazaridis














botimage
Copyright 2014 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki