When you sign up for a contract or a plan at a carrier, they tell you that you have to pay X amount, but when your bill arrives, it’s more than that. You try to study the bill but it’s full of numbers, codes, and basically it’s too long and confusing to make sense, so you just end up paying whatever is written thinking that maybe you exceeded your minutes or it could be additional taxes. However this is a practice known as cramming, which according to the FCC’s definition refers to the “illegal act of placing unauthorized charges on your wireline, wireless, or bundled services telephone bill.”
U.S. wireless carrier Sprint Corp is expected to face a $105 million fine from the Federal Communications Commission in coming weeks over unauthorized charges on customers’ cellphone bills, a practice known as cramming, according to FCC officials. FCC commissioners are reviewing and will soon vote on the proposed fine over charges Sprint’s consumers faced for services they never requested, FCC sources said. A $105 million fine would tie as the agency’s largest. In October, AT&T Inc agreed to pay $105 million to settle similar cramming allegations in a case negotiated by the FCC and the Federal Trade Commission. FCC officials spoke on a condition of anonymity because the proposed fine has not been made public. FCC spokesman Neil Grace declined comment. Sprint spokeswoman Stephanie Vinge Walsh said the company does not comment on rumor and speculation. The FCC has also been investigating cramming complaints against T-Mobile US Inc. The FTC in July filed a cramming complaint against T-Mobile in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington.
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