Extra Charges & Cramming
Cramming is the name for unauthorized charges that show up on your phone bill. Cramming comes in many forms. The unauthorized charge might be a one-time charge or it could be a monthly fee for a membership or service. These extra charges could end up on your phone bill even if the company never contacted you. Or you might get tricked by a telemarketer into signing up for the service.
- Read your phone bill carefully every month. Review it like you would your credit card or bank statement.
- Use caution if you talk to telemarketers. Make sure you fully understand what they’re selling. Also, pay close attention to anything a “third party verifier” says to you after you’ve spoken with the telemarketer. Ask questions if you are confused. If you answer “yes” to questions you don’t fully understand, the company may later claim that you agreed to the service.
- Read the fine print if you fill out contest entry forms or if you sign and deposit promotional checks. Sometimes these documents state that you’re authorizing a service that will be billed to your phone bill.
- Be careful with “free” offers or prizes on the Internet. Internet pop-ups that promise a free gift card or meal may be a sneaky way to trick you into authorizing a service that will be billed to your phone bill. Be skeptical if the offer asks you for information such as your birth date, your mother’s maiden name, or the last four digits of your Social Security number. Find and read the terms and conditions before you sign up for a free prize online.
- Dispute charges you don’t recognize on your phone bill. Ask your local telephone company to remove the charge. Generally, your local phone service cannot be disconnected if you fail to pay a charge from a company that is not your local phone service. Also contact the company responsible for the charge at the toll-free number listed on the phone bill. If the charge still isn’t removed, contact NC Attorney General Josh Stein’s Office.
- Check your credit card bills too. Unauthorized telephone charges may be billed to your credit card. If you see these charges on your bill, dispute the charge in writing as soon as possible.
We Can Help
If you need help with an unauthorized charge on your phone bill, contact us for help or call toll free within North Carolina at 1-877-5-NO-SCAM.