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Eliminating Mobile Cramming is a Consumer Protection Priority, Say Attorneys General

June 25, 2013

Washington, DC---The National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG) sent comments yesterday to the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) about stopping mobile cramming, the placement of unauthorized third-party charges on mobile phone bills, which is on the rise across the country.

Attorneys general continue to receive complaints from consumers that charges, usually ranging from $9.95 to $24.95 per month, appeared out of the blue on their phone bills without their authorization and for goods and services that the consumers neither requested nor used. Most consumers fail to detect that they have been crammed, and when they do notice, they have already been paying the charges for several months, are rarely able to get a full refund, and often unable to discontinue or block future charges.

The NAAG comments address four areas of particular concern:

  1. Unauthorized charges being placed on consumers’ bills for unwanted and unused services;
  2. Inadequate disclosure of third-party charges on mobile phone bills;
  3. Inadequate mechanisms for consumers to effectively block third-party charges and obtain refunds; and
  4. The lack of state and federal statutory protections governing consumer disputes about fraudulent or unauthorized charges placed on mobile phone bills.

“The attorneys general agree that addressing these issues should be a priority among consumer regulators and the mobile telephone industry,” read the NAAG comments signed by 40 state and territorial attorneys general. In the meantime, the attorneys general will continue to investigate and take enforcement actions against persons who bill unauthorized amounts on consumers’ mobile phone bills.

A copy of the NAAG comments to the FTC can be found here: http://www.naag.org/sign-on_archive.php.

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The National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG), www.naag.org, was founded in 1907 to help Attorneys General fulfill the responsibilities of their office and to assist in the delivery of high quality legal services to the states and territorial jurisdictions.

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