Fighting phantom phone fees

A sure way to see smoke coming out of consumers’ ears:  Put charges on their phone bills for services they never ordered and didn’t authorize.  In a lawsuit just filed against Montana-based American eVoice, Steven Sann, and others, that’s what the FTC says is going on.

It’s the latest in a long line of law enforcement actions challenging the practice of “cramming.”  According to the FTC, charges ranging from $9.95 to $24.95 per month started showing up on people’s phone bills — to the tune of more than $70 million.  The FTC says the defendants told phone companies and third party billing aggregators that consumers had OKed the charges by filling out forms online.

The complaint alleges that the defendants billed consumers for services they didn’t authorize — an unfair practice under the FTC Act — and deceptively represented that people were obligated to pay.  A note for pleadings watchers: According to the complaint, money from the operation was transferred to a purported non-profit, Bibliologic, Ltd., controlled by Mr. Sann.  The FTC has named Bibliologic as a relief defendant and has asked the court to order Bibliologic to disgorge the money.

If you have telecom clients or are watching what’s going on in the billing field, this is a case you'll want to follow.

 

 

 

 

4 Comments

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That sounds familiar. Charging £337.25 a month for a contract of £26 a month. This excessive data charges are taken from your personal account by direct debit. You are in for it if you give your phone company a direct debit mandate. You are giving them licence to bill and collect illegal data charges of a duplicate phone number operating in your system. Every activity on your mobile is remotely controlled.

I am out of work having it make it harbor to cach a call wen forced to tern it off when you need it on so I can cache a call....

i dont think its fair that these companies are able to just charge your phone by entering your number in that box to get to the final ''reward''page that you're never gonna get. and you'll only know they're charging you if you read the fine print. then cell phone bill comes and.... whaa baam, an extra 10 dollar charge is added, not to mention the other charges that may have incurred during all the redirecting you experienced.

Over 284 disapeard. Off a phone. I had to tern it off to stop it .not good when sharing for called. And no call's. Where sent or answered. This one not share. I had to bey more minutes to replacement.

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