Utah AG Office Press Room

UTAH A.G. ASKS FTC TO STOP UNAUTHORIZED MOBILE PHONE CHARGES

For Immediate Release
June 25, 2013

Utah Attorney General John Swallow is asking the Federal Trade Commission to take action against “mobile cramming,” placing unauthorized third-party charges on mobile phone bills.  Swallow and 39 other state and territorial attorneys general sent a letter this week asking the FTC to stop this national problem before it gets worse.

Across the country, consumers are complaining about charges, usually around $9.95, that appear on their phone bills without their permission.  The charges are usually for goods and services the consumers neither requested nor used.  Most consumers fail to detect they have been crammed.  When they do discover the charges on their bills, sometimes after several months, consumers are rarely able to obtain a full refund.

The comments submitted by the National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG) address four areas of particular concern:

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

Attorneys general from the following states and territories signed onto the letter: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Guam, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Virgin Islands, Washington and Wyoming.

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