Prevent and Identify “Mystery Fees” on Your Phone Bill
An estimated twenty million Americans are unaware of illegal and unauthorized mystery fees - called “cramming” - that show up on their monthly phone bill. The charges range from $1.99 to $19.99 and can appear on bills for your local and wireless telephone, long distance, beeper or pager services.
Were you “crammed”?
Ask yourself the following questions as you review your telephone bill:
- Do I recognize the names of all the companies listed on my bill?
- What services were provided by the listed companies?
- Does my bill include charges for calls I did not place or services I did not authorize?
- Are the rates and line items consistent with the information that the company quoted to me?
Getting your money back:
Immediately call the company that charged you for calls you did not place, or services you did not authorize or use. Ask the company to explain the charges. Request an adjustment to your bill for any incorrect charges.
If the company refuses to remove the charges you can file a complaint:
- with the Federal Communications Commission for charges related to telephone services between states or internationally,
- with your state public service commission for telephone services within your state; and
- with the Federal Trade Commission for non-telephone services on your telephone bill.
Do not ignore small charges since crammers often try to go undetected by submitting $1.99 or $2.99 charges to tens of thousands of consumers.
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