(COLUMBUS, Ohio)—Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine, along with 39 other state and territorial attorneys general, sent comments on June 24 to the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) about stopping mobile cramming, the placement of unauthorized third-party charges on mobile phone bills.
“Ohioans should have an expectation that they only pay for services they explicitly agree to pay,” said Attorney General DeWine. “I join my colleagues from around the country in urging the FTC to end the dishonest practice of mobile cramming.”
Attorneys general continue to receive complaints from consumers about charges, usually around $9.95, that appear on their phone bills without their authorization. The charges are usually for goods and services that the consumers neither requested nor used. Most consumers fail to detect that they have been crammed. When they do discover the charges on their bills, sometimes after several months, consumers are rarely able to obtain a full refund.
The comments, submitted by the National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG), address four areas of particular concern:
Unauthorized charges being placed on consumers’ bills for unwanted and unused services;
Inadequate disclosure of third-party charges on mobile phone bills;
Inadequate mechanisms for consumers to effectively block third-party charges and obtain refunds; and
The lack of state and federal statutory protections governing consumer disputes about fraudulent or unauthorized charges placed on mobile phone bills.
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.
Dan Tierney: 614-466-3840
Lisa Hackley: 614-466-3840