Important Announcement

See here for an important message regarding the community which has become a read-only site as of October 31.

Post Reply
Switch to Forum Live View The Mystery Phone Bill Charges AKA/Cramming! (And Slamming)
8 years ago  ::  Sep 24, 2010 - 3:55PM #1
Posts: 2,053


Cramming:   Mystery Phone Charges

You’re looking at your phone bill thinking someone must have made a  mistake. How can you be charged for web hosting when you don’t know what  web hosting is? Why does your bill list a couple of international calls  when all your friends and business contacts are stateside?

Chances are you’ve been crammed.

Cramming happens when a company adds a charge to your phone bill for  a service you didn’t order, agree to, or use. Cramming charges can be  small, say $2 or $3, and easy to overlook. But even when the phony  charges aren’t small, they may sound like fees you do owe. That makes  them tough to pick out, especially if your phone bill varies month to  month.


What can you do?

Read Your Bill

Catching cramming charges means taking time to read your phone bill  each month — that is, once you get to know your bill a little better.

  • If your telephone bill changes from month to month… Make it a habit to check the charges on your bill each month for services you haven’t ordered or calls you haven’t made.
  • If your telephone bill usually is the same… If your bill goes up one month, even by just a few dollars, take a closer look.

There’s no one type of cramming charge. Some charges appear just  once; others are “subscription” charges that show up every month. Keep  an eye out for generic-sounding services and fees like Min. Use Fee, Activation, Member Fee, Voice Mail, or Web Hosting;  they may be services you haven’t ordered. Are there calls you didn’t  make? Charges for Internet services from a company you don’t know? Area  codes you’ve never heard of, like 011 or 500? The charges could be for  anything, including:

  • long distance service
  • subscriptions for Internet-related services, like web hosting
  • access to restricted websites
  • entertainment services with a 900 area code
  • collect calls
  • club memberships

Check out each section of your bill, but note that crammers  tend to target some “hot spots.” Pay special attention to sections  labeled “Miscellaneous,” and the long-distance, 900-number, and  “third-party” charge sections on your bill. Third-party charges are  charges from anyone other than your phone company. Some phone companies  send their customers shorter bills with little detail, but may offer  more detailed bills online or upon request. To check out a sample phone  bill with various charges explained, visit the Federal Communications  Commission website at



(More @ FTC)


We have Verizon Phone Service. A customer can call them and ask them to "FREEZE" your phone account against both Cramming and Slamming! Whether you have Verizon or some other company, check to see if they have the same option to keep you safe from cramming and slamming charges.

Also, make sure you have a password for your account, so that anytime you call you have to give that before you can make any changes on your account, or even inquire about it. This protects you from someone calling and messing with your account, say they stole your phone bill out of the mailbox (Preventable with "Locking Mailbox") or some other method.  Stay alert, stay informed and stay safe.

"Remember, Jesus would rather constantly shame gays than let orphans have a family."
Stephen Colbert
Quick Reply
    Viewing this thread :: 0 registered and 1 guest
    No registered users viewing

    Beliefnet On Facebook