The Attorney General’s office has reached its biggest telephone “cramming” settlement with three companies that will bring full refunds to consumers they cheated.
The Consumer Protection Division has spent more than a year and a half finding the three companies and working out the $300,000 settlement. The three companies added amounts to consumer telephone bills without the consumer’s permission.
Division chief Joe Bindbeutel says national carriers contract with companies that solicit services that let consumers pay their bills by adding amounts to their phone bills..But some “nefarious” companies that contract with companies never contact consumers and just add on fees the consumer has never authorized.
Two companies are based in Florida–=Familycontact911.com, which is paying back $180,972.06, and Green Certificaiton LLC, which has made $60,716.82. . The third is from New Hampshire–?Coast to Coast Voice LLC, which has paid refunds and restituiton totalling $53,568.18. .
Bindbeutel says crammers count on telephone customers not monitoring their monthly bills closely enough to spot fake charges. He says they’re most likely to get consumer information through sweepstakes, drawings, free offers, or trials that lure people to submit names and other personal information.