As part of its continuing effort to stem fraudulent practices against consumers, the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has proposed new rules to strengthen its fight against “slamming” (the practice of switching consumers to another phone carrier without their permission) and “cramming” (the practice of adding unauthorized charges to consumers’ bills).
Under a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking issued in June, the FCC’s new rules would prohibit phone carriers from misrepresenting themselves when telemarketing to consumers and placing unauthorized charges on their phone bills.
In addition, the FCC is considering the implementation of additional restrictions that would help to protect consumers from carrier switches and unauthorized charges. These would include requiring a phone carrier to check directly with a consumer before switching their service, rather than relying on the original carrier’s request for such a change. The Commission is also considering prohibiting third-party charges from being added to a consumer’s phone bill, unless the consumer expressly agrees to the charges.