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Comments on news posted 2011-06-21 08:09:00: The FCC took action this week against "cramming," or the placement of fees on consumer phone bills for services neither wanted or ordered. ..



mob
On the next level..
Premium
join:2000-10-07
Reviews:
·SureWest Internet

1 recommendation

Cramming and Slamming

It's amazing how much money companies can make by adding a $1.99 charge to unsuspecting customers bills'. In some cases the charges can be on a bill for years without the customer knowing until they read over their bill line by line.

Of course, the more modern version are "premium text" scams.



n2jtx

join:2001-01-13
Glen Head, NY

1 recommendation

Ha Ha Ha

These are the same companies that want to allow us to use cell phones to make purchases using NFC. How much luck do you think you will have disputing charges with your telecom carrier or having the FCC backing you up? Good luck with that...
--
I support the right to keep and arm bears.



cdru
Go Colts
Premium,MVM
join:2003-05-14
Fort Wayne, IN
kudos:7

FCC: People who are bad at math

quote:
Twenty Million Americans unaware of illegal and unauthorized mystery fees called "cramming"

ranging from $1.99 to $19.99 on monthly phone bills;

FCC proposes $11.7 million in penalties...
Taking the lower numbers, 20m * 1.99 = $39.8m. Why exactly should the companies care about a $11.7m penalty? If I can rob a bank and keep 70% of what I take without serving time, why would I stop robbing banks?

openbox9
Premium
join:2004-01-26
Germany
kudos:2
reply to mob

Re: Cramming and Slamming

I guess consumers should review their bills prior to paying them



io chico
Premium
join:2003-12-30
Chico, CA
reply to cdru

Re: FCC: People who are bad at math

said by cdru:

If I can rob a bank and keep 70% of what I take without serving time, why would I stop robbing banks?

Exactly what I was thinking. $12m spread across 4 carriers = minor hand slap.

That'll teach them that lobbyist don't work.


FFH
Premium
join:2002-03-03
Tavistock NJ
kudos:5
reply to n2jtx

Re: Ha Ha Ha

said by n2jtx:

These are the same companies that want to allow us to use cell phones to make purchases using NFC. How much luck do you think you will have disputing charges with your telecom carrier or having the FCC backing you up? Good luck with that...

The companies mentioned by FCC were NOT the mainstream phone companies, but were 3rd parties. And it wasn't the wireless companies that will be doing NFC charges.
--
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FFH
Premium
join:2002-03-03
Tavistock NJ
kudos:5
reply to io chico

Re: FCC: People who are bad at math

said by io chico:

said by cdru:

If I can rob a bank and keep 70% of what I take without serving time, why would I stop robbing banks?

Exactly what I was thinking. $12m spread across 4 carriers = minor hand slap.

That'll teach them that lobbyist don't work.

The carriers weren't fined. Read the FCC announcement. It was the 3rd parties that crammed charges on to carrier bills that were fined.

companies targeted in the FCC Notices of Apparent Liability are: Main Street Telephone ($4,200,000);
VoiceNet Telephone, LLC ($3,000,000); Cheap2Digital Telephone, LLC ($3,000,000); and Norristown
Telephone, LLC ($1,500,000).
--
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coldmoon
Premium
join:2002-02-04
Broadway, NC
Reviews:
·Windstream

said by FFH:

said by io chico:

said by cdru:

If I can rob a bank and keep 70% of what I take without serving time, why would I stop robbing banks?

Exactly what I was thinking. $12m spread across 4 carriers = minor hand slap.

That'll teach them that lobbyist don't work.

The carriers weren't fined. Read the FCC announcement. It was the 3rd parties that crammed charges on to carrier bills that were fined.

companies targeted in the FCC Notices of Apparent Liability are: Main Street Telephone ($4,200,000);
VoiceNet Telephone, LLC ($3,000,000); Cheap2Digital Telephone, LLC ($3,000,000); and Norristown
Telephone, LLC ($1,500,000).

Granted, but the question still remains as to why the FCC isn't going after the other mystery fees discussed and the way they are deceptively displayed as though they were actually Government mandated fees and why this scrutiny was put on only smaller 3rd party outfits...
--
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Camelot One
Premium,MVM
join:2001-11-21
Greenwood, IN
kudos:2

1 recommendation

reply to openbox9

Re: Cramming and Slamming

said by openbox9:

I guess consumers should review their bills prior to paying them

You are assuming customers still GET a bill before they are auto-charged. A lot of these smaller phone companies take your credit card number, auto bill you, and if you are lucky you get a summary bill via email, after you've been charged for it.
--
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openbox9
Premium
join:2004-01-26
Germany
kudos:2

Then I guess the easy solution is to not do business with them. I've never been charged for a service prior to receiving a bill (hardcopy or electronic), nor will I ever allow it to happen.


bigpapae35

join:2002-10-25
united state
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Callcentric
·Verizon FiOS
·Verizon Online DSL
·VoicePulse

this is bs

what about the other fees, this is from my most recent verizon bill for three lines:

Taxes, Fees and Other Charges
Voice
Federal Excise Tax .81
NY State and Local Sales Tax 11.24
VES NY State Tax .22
VES NY Local Tax .25
911 Surcharge 3.00
LNP SURCHARGE .00
Local Number Portability Surcharge - CENTREX Line .00
CEAC @ 1.61 3.17
Federal Universal Service Fund Surcharge - Business Centrex 1.68
Federal Universal Service Fee - Long Distance 1.66
FCC LINE CHARGE 19.05
VES NY Gross Receipts Tax Surcharge .26
VES NY Metropolitan Transit Authority Surcharge .08
VES Universal Service Fund Surcharge 1.12
Internet
State Tax .96
City Tax 1.08
Local Tax .08
Total Taxes, Fees and Other Charges $44.66



Corehhi

join:2002-01-28
Bluffton, SC
Reviews:
·Hargray Cable

1 recommendation

reply to openbox9

Re: Cramming and Slamming

said by openbox9:

I guess consumers should review their bills prior to paying them

I have a bunch of taxes/fees on my mine and how would I know which ones are real??? If I go ask the phone company they'll just say it's a tax or what ever that they have to put on the bill. I think the solution should be that phone and cable companies have to by law just give you one straight up price with all taxes/fees/whatever included.

I can tell you my local phone company offers a $99 deal for local, long distance, 5 meg internet and basic cable. Extra charges are about $18 which in my book is 18% over the stated price, not exactly a small amount over.


WHT

join:2010-03-26
Rosston, TX
kudos:5

Access denied

According to an FCC , Access denied
You are not authorized to access this page.


openbox9
Premium
join:2004-01-26
Germany
kudos:2
reply to Corehhi

Re: Cramming and Slamming

said by Corehhi:

I have a bunch of taxes/fees on my mine and how would I know which ones are real???

Read the back of your statement or call a CSR and ask. The CSR (at least the ones I've spoken with) will go line by line through your bill.
said by Corehhi:

I think the solution should be that phone and cable companies have to by law just give you one straight up price with all taxes/fees/whatever included.

I agree.

Paxio
Premium
join:2011-02-23
Santa Clara, CA
kudos:1

But sometimes the taxes are real

In our service areas, cities and counties charge property tax on our infrastructure located in their area. It's hard to imagine for most people that "property" isn't always real estate but can even include fiber on poles and in the ground.

The City of Emeryville, for example, charges a city property tax in addition to the county tax. We could just raise the cost of our service everywhere, but that would not be fair to customers in other areas. So we added a new (for us) tax line item that breaks out the city and county property tax for each user.

The tax rates are real. The charges are real. It's an unfortunate part of doing business, but taxes are here to stay and (likely) going nowhere but up.



Noah Vail
Son made my Avatar
Premium
join:2004-12-10
Lorton, VA
kudos:3
Reviews:
·Bright House
reply to bigpapae35

Re: this is bs

said by openbox9:

I guess consumers should review their bills prior to paying them

As insinuated in the above quote, the nonsense on your bill is all your fault.

If you would just read your bill prior to paying it, everything on it would be fully/clearly explained.

Further, there wouldn't be any inappropriate/unethical charges at all - if only you would review your bill prior to paying it.

NV
--
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dvd536
as Mr. Pink as they come
Premium
join:2001-04-27
Phoenix, AZ
kudos:4
reply to bigpapae35

said by bigpapae35:

what about the other fees, this is from my most recent verizon bill for three lines:

Taxes, Fees and Other Charges
Voice
Federal Excise Tax .81
NY State and Local Sales Tax 11.24
VES NY State Tax .22
VES NY Local Tax .25
911 Surcharge 3.00
LNP SURCHARGE .00
Local Number Portability Surcharge - CENTREX Line .00
CEAC @ 1.61 3.17
Federal Universal Service Fund Surcharge - Business Centrex 1.68
Federal Universal Service Fee - Long Distance 1.66
FCC LINE CHARGE 19.05
VES NY Gross Receipts Tax Surcharge .26
VES NY Metropolitan Transit Authority Surcharge .08
VES Universal Service Fund Surcharge 1.12
Internet
State Tax .96
City Tax 1.08
Local Tax .08
Total Taxes, Fees and Other Charges $44.66

Put a few extra dimes on each one of these and you'll make that fine money back in no time!
--
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sparks

join:2001-07-08
Little Rock, AR
reply to Paxio

Re: But sometimes the taxes are real

I like the break down of we steal $$$$$ and are fined $$ so its all good, lets keep it up.
where the F do the tax payers sign up for this deal????

Is this why I have a $15 a month land line with at&t and have $18 a month in fees?

Why no I have taxes that are never forwarded because the gov authorized them to be paid to at&t. And fees that they have been caught charging that do NOT exist everywhere and NOTHING is ever done. This is just a wake up call to say hey we have NOT received our bribes this month.