It was reported earlier this year that the FCC and CFPB ordered both Verizon Wireless and Sprint Corporation to pay $68 million to settle investigations of cramming charges. It is clear mobile phone companies are participating in unethical behavior and that our government takes these charges very seriously. Professional telecommunications audit companies such as Telanalysis are devoted to locating suspicious charges on your phone bills and contacting the appropriate parties to resolve the dispute quickly and efficiently.
So, how does cramming impact your phone bill? The truth is that it shouldn’t because the practice itself is illegal, but in all reality it does still happen and it does inflate many customers’ telecom bills beyond the amount originally authorized. Telecommunications companies have become sneaky about charging for each and every individual service and even use billing aggregators to make extra money off transactions. Is this really an ethical practice? Telecom companies certainly seem to think so.
What is a billing aggregator?
Billing aggregators contract with your phone service providers and act as third party companies. Billing aggregators are allowed to submit charges to customers’ phone bills. In many cases, this information is never disclosed to the customer and so the charges are never officially authorized. Phone companies engage in this practice because they make money off the billing aggregators. These charges are frequently buried deep within phone bills under deceptive descriptions so it is difficult to identify what the charge is for or even where it goes.
It is crucial to read each and every phone bill carefully or participate in a phone bill audit to identify illegal or unethical practices. In the case of phone companies who contract with billing aggregators, a dispute needs to be raised with both the phone company and the billing aggregator, making this an extremely complicated and drawn-out process.
How do I reduce my risk of cramming?
There are a few ways to reduce the risk that you will be targeted for a cramming scam.
- Never enter your mobile number on unsecured websites
- Delete unsolicited text messages
- Do not participate in “free” giveaways
- Ask your phone carrier to block third-party charges
- Review your phone bill every month in detail
- If suspicious charges arise, ask for proof that you verified the charge
Your phone service provider has an obligation to provide ethical and lawful service to all customers. A telecom bill audit is the best way to identify charges you or your company did not agree to. A professional telecom bill management company can review your monthly bill and take care of any unauthorized charges that are located. If you are ready to save money on your business’ telecom bill, contact us today and discover the savings Telanalysis can bring to you!