New FCC ruling prevents 'unscrupulous' phone companies from placing unauthorized charges...

Polycount

TS Evangelist
Staff member

If you've ever been confused about unauthorized charges on your phone bill, you wouldn't be alone.

While these sorts of charges have been illegal for some time now, the FCC never had official rules in place to prevent it from happening, so some less-than-ethical companies have taken full advantage of the loophole.

That's changing now, though.

On Thursday, the Commission adopted a new set of consumer protections designed to prevent phone companies from "slamming" and "cramming." These terms refer to a cellular provider changing your preferred telephone company and placing unauthorized charges on your phone bill, respectively.

The following excerpt from the FCC's full press release explains how certain phone companies perform these actions:

Unscrupulous phone companies target vulnerable Americans by misrepresenting themselves on sales calls or fabricating a consumer’s verification to switch service providers. Others go so far as to ask consumers to answer questions on an unrelated call and splice the responses into the alleged verification. And some simply cram charges on consumers’ telephone bills for services that they never authorized

If you've mostly stuck to major phone providers like AT&T and Verizon, it's unlikely that you've ever run into the issues the FCC cites here.

However, there are certainly a few phone companies out there that look to take advantage of customers who either don't have much choice as far as phone providers go or who don't read the fine print of their service subscriptions.

Although the FCC under Commissioner Ajit Pai has made a few controversial decisions in the past, it's nice to see them adopt additional consumer protections now.

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wiyosaya

TS Evangelist
My apologies for remaining skeptical, however, as I see it, as good as this might sound, telcos will find a way to persist with unfounded charges.
 

treetops

TS Evangelist
On my first verizon phone there was a preinstalled app that said click here for zap or something like that, this was in 09, I clicked one day, didn't know what it did. I activated some kind of shared wifi, 5 months later I was billed about 50$ a month all at once. I never paid them and never will.
 

branhama

TS Rookie
Great one decent thing this month out of an organization that should be there to protect the consumer from wrong doing.....

Perhaps try more of that and less of this.
https://www.techspot.com/news/74987-uncovered-emails-reportedly-show-fcc-made-up-ddos.html

Every organization that can impose their believes or rules upon anyone always finds a way to profit from it. And pretty much ever time it happens the rich get a slap on the hand while the US citizens pays for it. I can pretty much guarantee that this ruling will either be overturned or a loop hole will be found that allows business as usual. Stop giving the public a little glimmer of decency to cover up a previous lies and deceit by your organization.
 
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wiyosaya

TS Evangelist
Great one decent thing this month out of an organization that should be there to protect the consumer from wrong doing.....

Perhaps try more of that and less of this.
https://www.techspot.com/news/74987-uncovered-emails-reportedly-show-fcc-made-up-ddos.html

Every organization that can impose their believes or rules upon anyone always finds a way to profit from it. And pretty much ever time it happens the rich get a slap on the hand while the US citizens pays for it. I can pretty much guarantee that this ruling will either be overturned or a loop hole will be found that allows business as usual. Stop giving the public a little glimmer of decency to cover up a previous lies and deceit by your organization.
Yes, he is yet another one likely doing something like this to try to cover his a$$. Some will buy this kind of deflection. I hope the trend is that more will recognize that this is a ruse aimed at getting the current majority incumbents good press before the mid-term election.