Make us your home page
Instagram

Daily Q&A: How can I stop telephone fees for services I didn't request?

I'm finding fees added to my telephone bill for services I did not request. How can I stop this from happening?

When fees are added to your bill without your permission, it's called "cramming." These charges often are added to your bill by a third party.

The Better Business Bureau says some victims of cramming may have inadvertently signed up for a subscription service — such as for "free" ring tones or a daily joke or horoscopes — not realizing they'd be billed every month. Calling a psychic hot line or entering a sweepstakes can also lead to cramming.

And in some cases, the victim may just be an unlucky, random target.

"You might think that nothing bad can happen from giving out your telephone number, but you should guard those digits like you would a credit card or social security number," said Steve J. Bernas, president & CEO of the Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and Northern Illinois.

Here are suggestions from Bernas:

• Keep a close eye on monthly statements. Anyone can become a victim of cramming so monitoring your monthly bills is extremely important. The sooner you spot the charges, the sooner you can fight them.

• Know your rights. Contact your telephone provider to see if you can completely restrict third-party billing on your account.

• Know whom you can trust online. Before sharing any personal information online, always research the business with your BBB at www.bbb.org. And file a complaint with the FCC for charges related to telephone service and FTC for all other cramming charges on your phone bill, if you can't resolve the matter with the phone company.

Question for the Consumer's Edge? Send it to ipenn@sptimes.com or twitter.com/consumers_edge. Questions are answered only in this daily feature.

Daily Q&A: How can I stop telephone fees for services I didn't request? 11/11/10 [Last modified: Thursday, November 11, 2010 2:00pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Despite Hurricane Irma, Hillsborough remains on pace to unlock hotel tax that could pay for Rays ballpark

    Tourism

    TAMPA — Despite the threat of a catastrophic storm, it was business as usual at many Hillsborough County hotels in the days before Hurricane Irma bore down on the Tampa Bay region.

    The Grand Hyatt near TIA closed during Hurricane Irma, but many other Hillsborough hotels were open and saw an influx.
  2. New Graham-Cassidy health care plan stumbles under opposition from governors

    Nation

    WASHINGTON — The suddenly resurgent Republican effort to undo the Affordable Care Act was dealt a blow on Tuesday when a bipartisan group of governors came out against a proposal gaining steam in the Senate.

    Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., joined by, from left, Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., Majority Whip John Cornyn, R-Texas, Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La., Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., speaks to reporters as he pushes a last-ditch effort to uproot former President Barack Obama's health care law, at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2017. To win, 50 of the 52 GOP senators must back it -- a margin they failed to reach when the chamber rejected the effort in July. [/J. Scott Applewhite | Associated Press]
  3. Early estimates peg Hurricane Irma damage at as much as $65B

    Banking

    The damage totals from Hurricane Irma are still being tallied, but early numbers are in: As of Tuesday, the storm is estimated to have caused between $42.5 billion and $65 billion of damage. That's according to a Tuesday release by Irvine, Calif.-based analytics company CoreLogic.

    Hurricane Irma is estimated to have caused up to $65 billion in damage, said analytics company CoreLogic. Pictured is 
Hermilo Munoz Castillo as wades down a flooded street to check on his home in southern Collier County, Fla. after Hurricane Irma passed. | [LOREN ELLIOTT | Times]
  4. Port Tampa Bay makes public/private commitment for $60 million expansion project

    Business

    TAMPA — Port Tampa Bay approved a public-private partnership agreement with four other entities to divvy up who will pay for a $60 million widening and extension of the Big Bend Channel.

    Port Tampa Bay approved a participation agreement with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Florida Department of Transportation, Tampa Electric Company and Mosaic Company at the port's monthly board meeting on  Tuesday. Port Tampa Bay President & CEO Paul Anderson signs the agreement as Ram Kancharla; Port Tampa Bay's vice president of planning & development, Brandon Burch; project manager at United States Army Corps of Engineers, Lois Moore; of Alcalde and Fay and Charles Klug; Port Tampa Bay principal counsel, and Tim Murphy; deputy district engineer of the Army Corps., looks on. [Company handout]
  5. One of St. Petersburg's newest condo projects is sold out

    Real Estate

    ST. PETERSBURG — Reflecting the continued demand for condos in downtown St. Petersburg, The Salvador, completed earlier this year at 199 Dali Blvd., has sold out. Records show that a 2-bedroom, 2-bath unit sold Friday for $620,000 in an all-cash deal. Two other units — a 3-bedroom, 2-bath penthouse and a …

     Reflecting the continued demand for condos in downtown St. Petersburg, The Salvador, completed earlier this year at 199 Dali Blvd., has sold out. 
[Rendering courtesy of aalliiggnn LLC]