FCC adopts new rule to protect consumers against slamming and cramming phone scam

Recently Jazzmen Morgan of Miamisburg has been noticing some suspicious charges on her phone bill.

“It’s extremely frustrating,” said Morgan. “Some of the things don’t add up.”

She suspects she is a victim of cramming, or unauthorized charges on her bill.

The FCC has adopted new consumer protections to prevent cramming and the unauthorized switching of your phone service provider, otherwise known as slamming.

Slamming and cramming were more prevalent in the 1990s and early 2000s, but consumers are still dealing with the problems, according to Public Utilities Commission of Ohio Spokesman Matt Schilling.

“If you are not vigilant in looking at your bill every month, you could end up paying a lot more than what you used to be and what you actually signed up for,” Schilling said.

Under the new protections, the FCC is banning shady sales calls and invalidating any changes not expressly authorized by the consumer, and prohibiting any unapproved charges on phone bills.

“What that’s going to do for the FCC is it’s going to make enforcement a little easier or their end when they do find instances of slamming and cramming,” said Schilling.

If you suspect you are a victim, you should first contact your phone provider and then report the incident to PUCO and the FCC, Schilling said.

“As more complaints come in and the FCC reviews those, the FCC has the power to take enforcement action against those violators,” Schilling said.

About the Author