FCC Will Weigh Phone-Fee Rules

The Federal Communications Commission will begin considering new rules to prevent phone companies from adding unauthorized fees to consumers’ monthly bills.

FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski said Monday the agency would begin considering a proposal to “explore new ways to empower consumers and protect Americans against cramming and mystery fees.”

Cramming is a term used to describe a phone company’s inclusion of an unauthorized or misleading charge in monthly bills. FCC officials offered an example of a Saint Louis woman who was charged for long-distance service for more than two years even though she hadn’t signed up for it.

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