What is “Cramming”?
Cramming is the practice of placing unauthorized, misleading, or deceptive charges on your phone bill. Examples would be charging for an additional phone line, Call Waiting, Caller ID, Internet access, etc. without permission.
How to Protect Yourself from Being Crammed
- Carefully review your phone bill every month.
- Make sure you know what service was provided, even for small charges. Crammers often try to go undetected by submitting $2-$3 charges to thousands of consumers.
- Keep a record of the telephone services you have used. These records can be helpful when billing descriptions are unclear.
- Carefully read all forms and promotional materials before signing up for telephone services, especially the fine print.
- Companies compete for your telephone business. Be wise and shop around.
Actions You Can Take if you’ve been Crammed
Immediately call the phone company that charged you for calls you did not make or for services you did not authorize or use. Have them explain the charges and request an adjustment to your bill for any incorrect charges.
Call your local telephone company. Explain your concerns about the charges and ask them about the procedure for removing incorrect charges from your bill.
Filing a Complaint
If neither the local company nor the company in question will remove incorrect charges from your bill, you can file a complaint with the regulatory agency that handles your particular area of concern.
- For charges on your telephone bill for non-telephone related services, such as “content” services like psychic hotlines, your complaint should be filed with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Call 1-877-FTC-HELP.
For charges for telephone-related services provided within your state, you should contact the Office of Public Affairs and Consumer Protection for the Kansas Corporation Commission at one of the following options:
Kansas Corporation Commission
Office of Public Affairs and Consumer Protection
1500 S.W. Arrowhead Road
Topeka, KS 66604
Phone: (785) 271-3140 (Topeka), or toll-free at 1-800-662-0027
Fax: (785) 271-3111
For charges related to telephone services between two states or internationally, you should contact the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) at one of the following options:
Federal Communications Commission
Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau
445 12th Street, SW
Washington, D.C. 20554
Fax: (202) 418-0232