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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.