Twenty million Americans are unaware of illegal mystery fees on their phone bills costing them up to $20 every month, according to the Federal Communications Commission, which today unveiled new actions to help consumers fight so-called "cramming” on their phone bills. The FCC also proposed more than $11 million in penalties against four companies accused of cramming unauthorized charges onto consumers’ phone bills.
The FCC is calling for new rules to increase transparency and disclosure on phone bills which it says will protect Americans from companies illegally placing unauthorized fees on to monthly phone bills. The FCC believes an estimated 15-20 million households per year potentially have these mystery fees on their monthly landline phone bills. The charges are for services like long distance, voicemail, or even diet plans or yoga classes that the consumer neither requested nor used.
The FCC released a new Cramming Tip Sheet to help consumers identify and resolve this type of mystery fee if they have been affected.
“Today, we are saying loud and clear to consumers trying to navigate the complex and constantly changing communications landscape: The FCC is on your side," FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski said. "We are focused on helping all Americans seize the tremendous opportunities of communications technology.”
If you want more information on cramming click here for the FCC consumer tip sheet.