Forum on fighting phone bill ills

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It may have happened to you.  You open the monthly phone bill at your business or at home and find charges for goods or services you never ordered.  It’s called cramming — and it’s illegal.

The FTC has brought numerous law enforcement actions against companies who “cram” unauthorized charges onto people’s phone bills.  This $38 million judgment entered by a federal court in California is just one example, but what more can be done to prevent it?

That’s the subject of a forum to be hosted by the FTC on May 11, 2011, in Washington, DC.  Government agencies, consumer advocates, and industry representatives are invited to discuss creative ideas to curb cramming:  For example, should consumers be able to request a block on all third-party billing?  Should third parties be required to get written approval from consumers before placing charges on their phone bills?  Those are just two of the topics on the table.

Interested in participating?  Send an email to explaining your experience with the topic.  Panelists will be notified by April 8, 2011.  Thinking about filing a comment?  It’s easy to submit one online by April 27th.