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A Visit to Cell Phone Issues

This post is not directly related to telemarketing. Instead I wanted to take a moment to address another issue that has been continually brought to my attention in conversations- billing; in particular, cell phone billing.

To open up the conversation, we need to journey to the FCC’s Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau site.

Cell phone bills have been in the news a lot lately. Verizon Wireless had to settle with the FCC recently for $25 million after the complaints came pouring in from people being overcharged on their bills. Others stories included a family man on a cruise trying to catch the big game back home. Unbeknownst to him he would be charged around $18,000 for watching on a data plan out of area. A  legal battle over the underhanded charges would ensue.

So, knowing these types of event are out there, you the consumer need to be made aware. Here are two practices that are making a…splash?

Call Splashing

When you place a long distance call from a public phone (a payphone, hotel, or airport phone, for example), your call may be routed to a distant call center before being “handed off” to your preferred long distance company. Your preferred long distance company might then, either unintentionally or intentionally, bill you as if your call originated from the distant call center, rather than from your actual location. As a result, you may be charged higher long distance rates for the call than you expected. This is called “call splashing,” and it may be in violation of Federal Communications Commission (FCC) rules.


This is the practice of placing unauthorized, misleading, or deceptive charges on your telephone bill. Crammers rely on confusing telephone bills in an attempt to trick consumers into paying for services they did not authorize or receive, or that cost more than the consumer was led to believe.

If you want to read more on filing a complaint with the FCC and unwanted marketing calls click here.