Practice Areas

Consumer Rights


“Cramming” & “Slamming” – Unauthorized Charges

Have you ever had a charge on your phone or credit card bill that you did not recognize or for a service you never ordered?  Telephone companies may include third-party charges on a customer’s phone bill so long as the customer authorized these charges.  Likewise, credit card companies can only charge customers for transactions that were authorized.

The practice of including unauthorized, misleading, or deceptive charges on a telephone bill or credit card is called “cramming.”  Third-party charges may appear on your telephone bill as a “service fee,” “service charge,” “monthly fee,” “other fees,” “voice mail,” “mail server,” or “membership.”  Companies that cram charges and fees onto telephone and credit card bills can make substantial profits from this practice because many consumers either do not closely review their bills or do not know who to contact to dispute the charges.

You may be a victim of cramming if a charge appears on your bill:

  • Without any explanation;
  • From a company with a fake business name; or
  • For a service you did not order.
Paul J. Lukas

Consumer Law Attorney

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How can I protect myself against cramming? Carefully review your telephone bill every month, just as closely as you review your monthly credit card and bank statements. Ask yourself the following questions as you review your telephone bill:
  • Do I recognize the names of all the companies listed on my bill?
  • What services were provided by the listed companies?
  • Does my bill include charges for calls I did not place or services I did not authorize?
  • Are the rates and line items consistent with the rates and line items that the company quoted to me?
Please contact us if you believe you have been a victim of cramming or unauthorized charges.  We would like to hear from you.