Third party vendors are collecting billions of dollars in erroneous charges placed on mobile and landline phone bills and consumers are getting little help from their telephone service providers with removing and preventing such charges, according to a report released July 12 by the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation.
The report further states Federal Trade Commission and other law enforcement actions have been ineffectual in curbing the problem.
While the information isn’t new, Better Business Bureau of Southern Arizona once again warns consumers to be on the watch for this billion-dollar-a-year practice and be proactive in keeping false charges off their bills.
The report, titled “Unauthorized Charges on Telephone Bills,” includes a survey of 500 customers who had third party charges on their bills. Not a single person said those charges were valid.
Because the practice is highly profitable to phone companies, the report added, customers have had a difficult time getting charges removed from their bills.
“Only after these consumers contacted the Better Business Bureau or their state attorneys general did their telephone companies provide assistance for many of them,” the report reads.
Individuals, businesses and government agencies have all been victims of the practice, some reporting tens of thousands of dollars in fraudulent charges.
“Third-party vendors even crammed unauthorized charges for voicemail services onto AT&T‘s own (more…)