FCC to investigate mystery phone fees

FCC to investigate anti-cramming measures

The FCC is to begin reviewing ways in which it can curb the practice of 'cramming' on consumers phone bills. Cramming is the inclusion of bogus or unauthorized fees and charges to a users phone account. FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski has said that the agency will consider ways in which it can further protect consumers against the unscrupulous practices that currently occur in the industry.

An example of the practice produced by the FCC was the story of a woman from St Louis who was charged long-service fees although she had never signed up for it. To help curb the practice, the FCC recently fined four small phone companies a total of $11.7 million for adding unauthorized long-distance service fees to customer bills.

AT&T, for its part, claims that it has self-regulated to the point where cramming complaints by its customers had dropped by 72 percent in 2010.

While the FCC debates the current proposal, and invites comment, it has urged consumers to closely check their monthly phone bill statement and ensure that they query and suspicious charges with their phone company. [via Wall Street Journal]

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