Senate starts looking at cramming practices

July 13, 2011 11:29:09 PM PDT
If you've ever noticed charges on your phone bill for services you never ordered, you are not alone. On Wednesday, the United States Senate began investigating mystery charges.

7 On Your Side has been investigating these mystery charges for about 20 years. Things got better for a while, but now things seem to be worse. It's called cramming. That's when companies slip extra charges on your phone bill without you knowing it. They're trying to trick you.

The Senate Commerce Committee released a report showing the problem is worse than ever. It says 20 million victims pay nearly $2 billion per year for unauthorized charges on their bills. Companies raked in $1 billion in profits over the past decade.

"It is infuriating to me that it is legal for companies to, without authorization, charge our business and skew our profit and loss statements, and in effect, take money out of the hands of hard working deserving men and women," said Susan Eppley, an accounts payable representative.

These are third-party companies, not the phone companies, so the FCC wants to require all of the phone companies to notify consumers of all these types of fees and give them the right to block them.


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