|June 25, 2013
Contact: Whitney Ray
Phone: (850) 245-0150
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. –Attorney General Pam Bondi and 39 other state and territorial attorneys general have submitted joint comments to the Federal Trade Commission outlining their concerns regarding mobile cramming, the placement of unauthorized third-party charges on mobile phone bills. Attorneys general continue to receive complaints from consumers about charges, often around $9.95, that appear on their phone bills without their authorization. Once they discover the unauthorized charges on their bills, sometimes after several months, consumers are rarely able to obtain full refunds.
“Attorneys general throughout the country are increasingly concerned about unauthorized mobile charges,” stated Attorney General Pam Bondi. “We need to consider how best to protect consumers against the placement of these unauthorized or fraudulent charges on their telephone bills.”
The comments, submitted by the National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG), address four areas of particular concern:
1. Unauthorized charges being placed on consumers’ bills for unwanted and unused services;
2. Inadequate disclosure of third-party charges on mobile phone bills;
3. Inadequate mechanisms for consumers to effectively block third-party charges and obtain refunds; and
4. The lack of state and federal statutory protections governing consumer disputes about fraudulent or unauthorized charges placed on mobile phone bills.
The Attorneys general submit that a thorough review of this important issue by the Federal Trade Commission would aid the states in better addressing this problem.
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.