Phone companies defeat attempt stop cramming

May 3, 2011 6:15:45 PM PDT
Phone companies have defeated an attempt to strengthen consumer protection against unauthorized phone charges--otherwise known as cramming.

The bill by St. Sen. Lois Wolk of Vacaville would have forced the Public Utilities Commission to come up with a trigger for when complaints are investigated.

The CPUC also would have had to set penalties for violators. Commissioners instituted new regulations last year, but critics say it doesn't go far enough.

"As recently as November, they adopted new rules as regulations relative to cramming and they chose, the commission chose, to not to do anything in the space of first-party cramming for whatever reasons," said Sen. Alex Padilla, D-San Fernando Valley.

The bill was defeated 5 to 4 in the Senate Energy and Communications Committee.

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