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FCC Plans To Stop Cell Phone Bill Mystery Fees 157

Posted by Soulskill
from the eight-dollars-for-occupying-a-transmission-medium dept.
GovTechGuy writes "FCC chairman Julius Genachowski said Monday that his agency is going to make it harder for mobile carriers to hit customers with mystery fees on their monthly bills. The practice, known as 'cramming,' typically involves charging customers between $1.99 and $19.99 per month for services they either didn't use or didn't request. The FCC announced fines totaling nearly $12 million against four carriers for cramming last week."
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FCC Plans To Stop Cell Phone Bill Mystery Fees

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  • Well done. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ackthpt (218170) on Monday June 20, 2011 @06:26PM (#36506636) Homepage Journal

    A co-worker has been vocal about this practice. Makes me all the more smug with my el-cheapo pay-as-you-go program.

    • Re:Well done. (Score:5, Informative)

      by ep32g79 (538056) on Monday June 20, 2011 @06:40PM (#36506766)
      The four companies that were smacked with this fine are:

      Main Street Telephone for $4,200,000
      VoiceNet Telephone, LLC for $3,000,000
      Cheap2Dial Telephone, LLC for $3,000,000
      Norristown Telephone, LLC for $1,500,000

      Looks like either the majors are not engaging in this practice or too large of Goliaths for the FTC to consider throwing stones at.

      • by digitig (1056110)

        Looks like either the majors are not engaging in this practice or too large of Goliaths for the FTC to consider throwing stones at.

        Or they're practicing on the easy targets before gearing up to the tougher ones.

        • by AK Marc (707885)
          Nope. The majors do it. They just talk to the FCC and define the term, then get the lawyers to come as close to the FCC rules without breaking them as possible. Then they run them past the FCC again to make sure they don't break the rules, then implement them. They are doing the practice of cramming without breaking the rules against cramming.

          Now, if only they required that the plans be advertised with the appropriate fees included. When they advertise a $29.99 plan, you should be able to give them $3
          • Re:Well done. (Score:4, Informative)

            by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 21, 2011 @02:16AM (#36509554)

            When I worked for ATT Wireless, a lot of "cramming" was a result of three things
            a. Management demanding unreasonable PCR (Proactive Contract Renewal) or Giving Incentives for PCR
            b. CSR's who were not trained, or cut corners in provisioning services
            c. Default settings in the billing system.

            Now I won't fault ATT Wireless for wanting to make money, but here's a few examples.
            -The 1.75 Regulatory Programs Fee, is a tickbox in AXYS (the TDMA billing system) but not Siebel (the 3G billing system), it's automatically added every time you change the service plan.
            -Changing the plan from a X-PLANNAME to PLANNAME was a one-way process, If the representative made a mistake (or the customer changed their mind, or hung up/dropped before confirming the details) then it was impossible to undo. So promotions and features that don't exist in the new plan, and only the older version of the plan can't be put back. The Mass Data Entry system would remove incompatible promos. (MDE was responsible for 90% of cramming and billing errors.)
            - Management, Supervisors and Team Leads had more leeway to correct mistakes under ATT Wireless, but Cingular had a 50% one time rule. So you couldn't correct mistakes, no matter how legitimate they were.
            - Management often embarrassed CSR's by making them call the customer and apologize for their mistake, this results in CSR's avoiding punishment by cutting corners by trying to escalate "hard" calls so they won't be held responsible for mistakes.
            - "One call resolution" was a performance metric along with call handle time. Some representatives cheat this metric by sticking to a script which could only be described as "say no to everything and blame the customer."

            Overall the experience of working for a mobile carrier is disheartening, because people often call in with legitimate issues, but the directive from management is "get them off the phone ASAP", so you're not allowed to solve the problem properly, only quickly.

            The worst cramming comes from text messaging scams. You know the "send a message to (5 digit number) to win an ipod", those are all scams, and the wireless carrier is in on it. Each text message costs like 1.99 or something, and they cause subscriptions (repeated charges,) but they target children. The parent then calls in and demands to know what these charges are and claims they never did any. The solution was to disable the e-wallet on the account. However management failed representatives quality score if they proactively disabled the ewallet. Which BTW was a difficult thing to do, as disabling the ewallet involved one of 13 logins that were not used very often.

            The current version of this is now flipped. To enter to win the ipods, you put your phone number into a web form on the website, which does exactly the same as above. In fact it makes it much easier to cram charges because the CSR's at the carrier can't figure out where they subscribed. As far as the phone carrier is concerned, you consented to the charge (that is why there are mile long TOS on those sites.) Since it comes out of the phone carriers pocket, you can't dispute the charges.

            Personally I reversed the charges with impunity because I knew those sites were scams, but took it on the nose on Quality for doing so.

      • by Meski (774546)
        Imagine the size of the stones that the FTC would drop on the major players...
    • by Hatta (162192)

      What do you (or slashdot in general) recommend? Assuming I will not sign a contract, use SMS or other data, or purchase minutes that expire, what are my options?

      I ask here, because all the information on Google is from someone selling something. If I'm on the phone half an hour a month TOPS, what's a good cheap utilitarian service?

      • Assuming I will not sign a contract... or purchase minutes that expire, ...what's a good cheap utilitarian service?

        USPS?

        I can't think of any telco, wireless or otherwise, who doesn't fail at least one of those three conditions. At least not in my country.

        • by Hatta (162192)

          My land line does not require a contract, local calling is unlimited. It's not quite cheap, given how little I use it but could be a bargain for a heavy user.

          For long distance I have a calling card that doesn't require a contract. I put a bunch of minutes on it 5 years ago, and still have most of them. It was cheap enough that I don't remember what I paid for it.

          I'd like a cell phone that I can use with as few strings as these options. Don't see any good reason why it shouldn't exist.

          • by BitZtream (692029)

            local calling is unlimited.

            But they also expire each month. You're ignoring the fact that you're buying a different type of service for a land line than you are for a wireless option.

            There are providers, at least locally, that will be happy to provider you with unlimited * for your wireless device for $100 a month, no extra fees, send them $100, your phone works for any domestic call, data access or texting.

            Of course, since you're paying for unlimited, you pay a lot more since its wireless and it has no competition. Your home servi

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by kermidge (2221646)

        I've been using Net10 since summer '06. Ten cents per minute, no roaming charge, no long-distance charge. So long as you keep your account active, minutes roll over forever. Phones are available from around $20 on up. I got my first one at Walgreen's. I suggest checking at net10.com for phones available in your Zip-code.

        They now have two types of plans - for your usage, avoid the per month plans, get straight minutes. For $60 you get 900 minutes - a nice bonus. From time to time they have various web

      • They have droid phones and everything down to cheap flip phones without a camera. $25 a month gets you 300 talk minutes and "unlimited" text/data without a contract. The best part is no hidden fees tacked onto that $25, just sales tax. Virgin uses the Sprint network so coverage is decent.

      • $100 GoPhone.

        I managed to get my iPhone to work on it, so it's all the "Apple Goodness" of the iPhone but without the nasty contract. I'll skate by your rules and say that the point of the $100 level is that the minutes last for a whole year. Very roughly converting "per call" rates vs your "half hour per month", it's a dead heat that the plan will last you exactly one year.

        Plus you can relive the cheesetastic Meatloaf commercial.

      • I have a pre-paid Verizon phone, costs 15 bucks a month. In general, I only carry it because I'm on call every fourth week. Rarely, I actually make a telephone call during "business hours", and I get zapped for 99 cents, or whatever. I think it's a pretty good deal, because it's always available for an emergency. Someone lacking in self restraint, who responds to SMS messages, and makes frivolous phone calls would end up paying a lot more than that basic $15.

      • TracPhone seems to be good.
        The condition of minutes not expiring is unreasonable.. Any way you look at it you are tying up one of their allocated phone numbers, so use the product or get off their lawn. In the case of tracphone (and others) they have a "one year" card that holds your minutes for a long time... My teen has one and uses it just as you say... Seems to work for him.

  • by Sierran (155611) on Monday June 20, 2011 @06:30PM (#36506658)

    Let's see. $12 million in fines, total, eh? Verizon Wireless at the end of 2009 had around 90 million subscribers. Cram a $0.99 charge onto each, take into account the fines, and...yes, profit!

    • by lennier1 (264730)

      Exactly. Make that $5,000*customers*infractions and you're closer to what's needed to stop this instantly.

      • by fast turtle (1118037) on Monday June 20, 2011 @06:55PM (#36506922) Journal

        nah. Hit the CEO's wallets for the fines. They can afford it and they'd sure as hell get a damn clue. Expand this across the board and companies would be a lot more carefull and if there is a 2nd violation, include the Board of Directors in the fines.

      • The retail "mis-scan" rules require 5x repayment up to $5 per incident. That alone would wipe these guys out in a hurry.

        It's amazing how most of the basic consumer retail rules evaporated when things became electronic...

    • $12 million in fines, and $100 million in bad press. But then bad press doesn't seem to hurt Verizon...
      • What are you going to do? Switch to the other carrier that does the same damn thing?

        • by cos(0) (455098)

          Prepaid.

          • by arth1 (260657)

            Prepaid isn't immune to cramming. When you fork out $20 for prepaid, you can actually call for how much of that?
            When they say x.xx cents per minute, that's not including the y.yy cents per minute operator fee, taxes, the connection fee, the busy fee, the not-making-any-calls-for-x-days surcharge, the wind blows from the south fee, and all the other fees.

            • by cos(0) (455098)

              Not sure what you are talking about. Take me as an example. I use Virgin Mobile's $25/mo plan. No contract. This gives me "unlimited" 3G data, unlimited SMS, and 300 minutes/mo. If I go over my minutes, I pay 10 cents/minute, or I can renew my billing cycle anytime. I never see any of the fees you mention.

              • by arth1 (260657)

                Most of the fees are subtracted from your minutes.
                The biggest fee is the (depending on plan) all-your-remaining-minutes-belong-to-us fee applied at the end of each month or all-your-top-off-minutes-incur-a-100%-charge-after-30-days fee, but there are plenty of others fees too, including the listening-to-voicemail fee, we-round-up-and-charge-you-the-remainder fee, and the checking-your-balance-more-than-five-times-in-one-day fee. Oh, and try making an international call, and see what happens. You get deduc

                • by cos(0) (455098)

                  all-your-remaining-minutes-belong-to-us fee

                  I think that's a stretch. This is not a fee, unless you redefine what fee means. Yes, you get a certain number of minutes per month without rollover. If you don't use them, you lose them. I've had months where I've used 299 out of 300 (and even 300 out of 300!) minutes when my billing cycle ended. I've also gone over, and paid 10 cents a minute.

                  To me, a fee (1) is poorly advertised, (2) should be included in the base price. The 911 government fee is an example. Better yet, the "administrative fee" that Spri

              • by BitZtream (692029)

                And every call you make costs you an additional dollar worth of minutes, connected or not. And checking your voice mail costs you. And incoming calls if answered cost an additional $1 plus minutes.

                Just because you haven't REALIZED you're getting raped doesn't mean you aren't getting raped.

    • by arth1 (260657)

      Let's see. $12 million in fines, total, eh? Verizon Wireless at the end of 2009 had around 90 million subscribers. Cram a $0.99 charge onto each, take into account the fines, and...yes, profit!

      Except that Verizon wasn't one of the four companies that were fined. Verizon can afford to buy their own politicians, and almost routinely steamrolls FCC.

    • by StormReaver (59959) on Monday June 20, 2011 @07:54PM (#36507514)

      Let's see:

      1) Go into a grocery store and steal a $2 candy bar: 30 days shock time in jail.

      2) Steal 90 million dollars, and pay a 13% tax on the stolen money.

      I know which kind of criminal I want to become.

    • by houghi (78078)

      A fine is not to be there to make you bankrupt. It is a warning. First time is no problem. Don't comply? Next time it will be higher and after that other precausions could be taken.

      A fine is not a tax and then it will be the end of it.

      e.g. if I drive drunk, I get a fine of amount X. The next time I get e.g. 2x X, then 5X, then they put me in jail.

      I could easily say: Pfft, I do not care about the first fine. I have the money and make that easily in a year. Even the second time, the third time it starts to hu

      • by Bert64 (520050)

        For the average guy on the street, the first fine hurts and then the escalations hurt more...

        For corporations the fines don't escalate as much, and so long as the fines are lower than the profit made by doing the illegal act, then it's just good business to continue doing it and consider the fine a cost of doing business.

  • jail (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ThurstonMoore (605470) on Monday June 20, 2011 @06:31PM (#36506670)
    The fines will mean nothing if the carriers make more money than what the fines cost. They need to put some people in jail and this shit would stop.
    • Or just double the fine every year it's not fixed.

      • That's still cheap, you need a fine and them to pay back all of it. Then start raising the fine as they try to not give the money back.
      • by gman003 (1693318)

        Or just double the fine every month it's not fixed.

        FTFY.. Year is too long - it would take a nearly a decade for it to reach the billions if done by the year. Do it by the month, and the problem is solved by 2012.

        Or make the fine relative to the amount crammed - if a company gets $100m by doing it, fine them $200m. If they only cram $10k, fine them $20k.

      • by sconeu (64226)

        They'll just add a surcharge to cover the fine.

        • If the fine is big enough (25% of the guilty company's annual revenue would be perfect, IMHO), the surcharge would be a mother to slip under the radar.

          Let's say that Verizon got busted for it. They get fined, say, $15bn - payable (to the last penny) within 120 days, else the fine doubles and/or the company charter is revoked, and it effectively gets its assets sold on the auction block. The figure effectively cuts Verizon's *revenue* by 25% (2010 shows ~$13bn/quarter), and their profits will likely evaporat

        • by Zibblsnrt (125875)

          Gotta love the good old "regulatory compliance fee."

    • by Ihmhi (1206036)

      Or easier, the fines should just factor in the exact profit they made. Get an independent or government party to examine the billing records - at the telco's expense - then fine them the profits they made plus the punitive damages.

      Even if they were to lose all the money, in a business sense it would be more like a loan. There has to be a significant negative downside. Factoring in the money they made along with the fine would probably be a pretty good way to do things.

    • I wanted to add fines mean nothing to companies. Here in coal county it is cheaper to dump the slurry into streams and rivers then pay the fines than it is to clean the shit up properly.
  • by WiiVault (1039946) on Monday June 20, 2011 @06:33PM (#36506686)
    This is one of the major issues that has caused most of my family and those I advise on cell phone purchases to go with pay as you go phones. As the one holdout who needs a smartphone with major (asshole) network support I've grown so sick of the unknown and seemingly random small fees attached to my monthly bills. The scam is not only the fees themselves, but the god-awful wait time by most providers when it comes to waiting on hold to reach the provider and question or dispute a charge. They know damn well that for $1.99 a month most people won't tolerate being on hold for 15+ minutes and thus use it as a quick way to yet again fuck us over. Yet another reason to hate the U.S. cell phone industry with a passion. If the FCC is serious about this all I can say is suck it telecos.
    • Re:Finally (Score:4, Insightful)

      by houstonbofh (602064) on Monday June 20, 2011 @06:42PM (#36506794)
      Agreed. Can I move to a 3rd world country with a real cell phone system please? (This is not a joke. Every 2nd and 3rd world country I have been to has a cell phone system worlds better than the US.)
    • by spectro (80839)

      I got an smartphone with pay as you go service. Just bought an HTC myTouch from newegg for around $180 and put my AT&T gophone card on it. Works fine.

      Now if you use lots of data you will get raped with their pay as you go rates. In my case I use all these free wifi spots all over and complement it by buying 10Mb for $5 every 30 days or so.

      • by dgatwood (11270)

        On the flip side, at $0.50 per megabyte, the equivalent of the 2 GB AT&T iPhone plan would cost you a grand a month....

  • Given the rampant and pervasive monopolistic practices of the soon to be 2 carriers, I just can't get that excited about such a small fine. Such intentional fraud should result in jail time for whoever authorized such actions.

    now when am I going to stop being charged for people sending me spam SMS messages? I see that issue as a sure sign that the FCC is fully captured by the industry, and small fines like this are just window dressing to keep the irate masses at bay.

    • now when am I going to stop being charged for people sending me spam SMS messages?

      When you pay them $10 a month to turn off the service. Hell of a deal. I am going to get the neighbor kid to pay me $10 a month to not punch him in the face.

    • yeah, 12 Billion is more like it. I'm not sure that is even enough.

  • In Canada, there are this 'CRTC fee', '9-1-1 fee' and 'system access' fee. Canucks have no way out with only a bundle of national operators that could foster competition.

    • Those fees aren't the mystery fees being described here. Those fees are legal and described in advance.

      If you don't get charged the 911 fee, you've got lucky somehow.

      These are fees for services you didn't even want [fcc.gov] or sign up for.

      As a slightly different example here, our corporate cell phone bills frequently have charges for calls to our my-5 numbers. We read through the bills every month and call to complain about those. Almost every month they try to bill us for calls that their own service claims are

      • by hidannik (1085061)

        Because most businesses are not in the habit of defrauding their customers.

        Hans

        • Everyone makes mistakes. Assuming there will be no mistakes is at your own peril.

          I read all my bills; it only takes a few minutes.

          • by tompaulco (629533)
            If "everyone makes mistakes" is true, then on the average, you should sometimes underpay and sometimes overpay. Since underpayment does not ever seem to be an issue, I have to classify these charges as "not a mistake" and instead as "a deliberate act to try to get customers to pay for something they did not use".
            • My point about mistakes was to justify always reading one's bill. Once one always reads one's bill, one also notices these illegal charges.

              In no way did I imply that these types of charges are mistakes, only that since mistakes happen, one should read one's bill. These charges are IMHO illegal and unethical.

  • Its a start (Score:4, Interesting)

    by nurb432 (527695) on Monday June 20, 2011 @06:40PM (#36506770) Homepage Journal

    Now if they can stop bandwidth overage charges, ( or remove caps completely ) and force everyone to be compatible with each other like it was with wired phone, so you can keep your phone...

  • would like to see new rules mandating prepaid data plans be offered at rates competitive with contract rates for anyone who has purchased their phone outright or who's contract period is ended. (and requiring phones be offered unsubsidized/unlocked at any place selling the phone subsidized)
    • Re:prepaid (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Moof123 (1292134) on Monday June 20, 2011 @06:58PM (#36506946)

      Carriers have obscured cell phone (the physical device) payments with cell phone services. How this came about still boggles my mind, almost like bundling a gas card with your car payment and not being able to find out how much the car even costs. The two should be separate, and the current high fee for cancellation should be deemed illegal. You either pay through the nose month-month, or you risk 2 years of hell dealing with a contract for awful service with a $350+ termination fee looming.

      • by AK Marc (707885)

        The two should be separate, and the current high fee for cancellation should be deemed illegal.

        Most are. But there's nothing wrong with purposefully drawing up an illegal contract (why else do you think severability is required in every contract? They know they are putting in at least one illegal clause). It's simply illegal to have a $300 cancellation fee for a 24 month contract. That's been challenged in court multiple times and the excessive fee has lost many times.

      • by evilviper (135110)

        You either pay through the nose month-month, or you risk 2 years of hell dealing with a contract

        Pay through the nose for what? To who?

        Boost Mobile is $50/mo for everything, unlimited, and then every 6 months they drop it $5/mo until you bottom out at $35/mo. That's right, $35/mo for "unlimited talk, text, web, 411, IM & email.".

        What are you paying through the nose for? Sure, you have to buy the phones up front, but they're coinsures of inexpensive phones people want. From the $30 dumb phones (which

        • by Algan (20532)

          And if you can't find the phone you want with Boost, try Virgin Mobile, they're Sprint pre-paid as well. You might even be able to just swap SIMs and use the phones on either service (iDEN phones notwithstanding).

          Sprint is CDMA, there's no SIM card to be swapped there. Also Boost and Virgin phones are locked to their respective carriers, you can't buy from one and use the other for service.

  • ... they could also get providers to undertstand the difference between zero point zero two dollars and zero point zero two cents....

    I ain't holding my breath.

  • by mrsam (12205) on Monday June 20, 2011 @06:55PM (#36506916) Homepage

    From TFA:

    the proposed steps would increase transparency and make it easier for consumers to understand the meaning of charges on their monthly phone bills.

    BS. Sheer nonsense. The problem is not that the bills are hard to "understand". The problem is the cramming in the first place. Remove the ability for any arbitrary fly-by-night op to place charges on anyone's bill, if they know their phone number, and the problem will mysteriously disappear.

    Cramming takes advantage of social engineering. "Wanna a HOT NEW LADY GAGA ringtone!!!! Just type in your phone number on our web site. (tiny font: $9.99 per month charge applies)".

    And that's how a "simple-minded" acquaintenance of mine ended up with $40 bucks worth of charges on her bill, some years ago.

    Get rid of the ability for anyone to cram charges, without a written notice by YOU, to YOUR cellphone carrier, and there's no more cramming. Of course, the cell-phone carriers will fight tooth and nail. I'm sure they make a nice profit skimming off their share of all the crammed charges.

    • by tompaulco (629533)
      Well, that is a simple matter of making the cell phone companies adhere to the same rigorous rules as the credit card companies, whose exact service they are duplicating without the liability of being regulated. Once the cell companies are required to adhere to those rules, they will have to investigate questionable charges at great expense, and will stop partnering together with third party shysters who give them 1/3 of the booty.
    • By pass the Telco's

      Given what Apple asked for in the mid 90's Public Radio bandwidth for 10Km ranged wifi routers and we could easily have a roof top cell phone grid and any long distance calls could be handled my Ma and Pa ISP's for Internet connections for long distance calls.

      The only reason we did not get this in the 90's was Al Gore was the Internet destroyer, when he was in office.
  • Oh, for a moment there I thought they decided to force carriers to cover all fees from the bill. You know, so it'd be one total, not total + FCC Mystery Line Fee, USF Fee, blah blah blah.
    Either that, or soon we'll see "Employee Handwashing Fee", "Cleaning Surplus Reimbursement Surcharge" and "Poison Control Center Fee" being imposed at fast food restaurants.
    Oh well. I can dream...

    • by tompaulco (629533)
      I was kind of confused by this article, too, since according to my bill, most of the extra fees are "FCC Mandated" fees. Of course, what they don't tell you is that it is mandated that the carrier pay the fee to the FCC, but is in no way mandated that the user pay the fee to the carrier, other than mandated by the carrier of course.
  • What pisses me off is that they charge $XX per month for their service and then add to that an itemized list of their normal business expenses, as if those don't count toward their monthly charges. When you go to a retail store, they don't advertise a $25 widget, then add $10 for their property taxes, business license renewal fees, fire district taxes, employee healthcare charges, etc. (Though in the US, it's normal to advertise prices without sales tax, which is bullshit.)

    So why don't all of these fees and

    • by blueg3 (192743)

      Energy company does. Cable company does. Traffic tickets do.

      • by Shados (741919)

        Air carriers are probably the worse, with "fuel surcharge" and airport renovation fee, security enhancement tax, etc.

        • by blueg3 (192743)

          Baggage fees that encourage people to take carry-ons whenever possible, slowing down boarding, coupled with almost no enforcement of carry-on size rules.

      • What kind of awful traffic tickets are you getting and where are you getting them so I know to avoid that area? When I have gotten them it has always been you pay $X by date Y where date Y is your court date.
        • by blueg3 (192743)

          A number of states have this: traffic tickets have the normal base price, but then there are surcharges for specific programs on top of that. The problem is that the surcharges are per-ticket, not percentage-based, so a $40 speeding ticket might cost you $140.

          Now, in my part of upstate New York, they make the process more annoying by not telling you the charge up front. The officer takes down your address, gives you a copy of the ticket, and the city mails you information about your fine and court date (alo

  • Pocket Change (Score:4, Informative)

    by jenningsthecat (1525947) on Monday June 20, 2011 @08:51PM (#36507990)

    $12 million divided among 4 carriers? I bet they're all laughing. That's just a (very small) cost of doing business for these guys. Fines of $100 milllion per carrier would get their attention - much less than that and it's hardly even newsworthy, much less an effective deterrent.

  • by ZipK (1051658) on Monday June 20, 2011 @09:26PM (#36508212)

    The FCC announced fines totaling nearly $12 million against four carriers for cramming last week.

    No doubt the board of directors, afraid the stockholders would hear about these outsized fines, quickly went around the table to see how much they each had in their pockets.

  • AFT, SCIH, and FYPM. One is consumer friendly, the other two are industry. Can you gues what they mean? Honesty, with a presidential elelction just around the corner this is nothing but background noise. Since when do consumers, you and I, have any rights or protection anymore? Anything designed to protect consumers from unfair practices is always seen as anti-business and by extension in this economic situation anti-government. They rely on business more than the poor meak folk of course so it is wha
  • by Culture20 (968837) on Monday June 20, 2011 @11:25PM (#36508872)
    It's been more than a decade, and they're just now getting around to it. The FCC must be planning something really shifty if they're pulling their public relations Ace from their sleeve.
  • by geminidomino (614729) on Tuesday June 21, 2011 @12:01AM (#36509042) Journal

    A WHOLE 12 Million!?

    Shee-it. That'll learn em. They'll have to scam a whole 60k more people for one month.

  • This is a criminal case. It's theft.

  • Someone would get my bank to stop cramming me with misc fees that no one at any branch can explain what they are for.
  • Why should the Government benefit from this. Where the hell are the refunds with interest...enough to make it hurt them...essentially like a class action would.

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