Phone Bill "Cramming" is the placement of unauthorized or misleading charges on phone bills. Ever wonder what those strange charges are on your home phone or cell phone bill? Crammers use confusing telephone bills in an attempt to trick consumers into paying for services they did not authorize or receive, or that cost more than the consumer was led to believe. One company Billing Services Group makes a living by scamming customers like you and me. They charge you for "enhanced services," which may include the following: collect calls, voicemail services, streaming video service, identity theft protection services, directory assistance and one job skills training services.
Billing Services Group (Ticker: BILL) placed charges on nearly 1.2 million telephone lines on behalf of a serial phone crammer. The charges were supposedly for "enhanced services," such as voicemail and streaming video, that consumers never authorized or even knew about. The Federal Trade Commission is seeking a civil contempt ruling against the nation's largest third-party billing company, alleging that Billing Services Group (BSG) placed more than $70 million in bogus "cramming" charges on consumers' phone bills.
What should you do? Review your telephone bill every month with fine tooth comb. Treat your telephone service like any other major consumer purchase or service. Ask yourself the following questions as you review your telephone bill:
- Do I recognize all the charges listed on my bill?
- What services did the charges provide?
- Does my phone bill include charges for calls I did not place or services I did not authorize?
- Are the rates and line items consistent my quoted price?