I was reading a story on ars technia today about a guy’s difficulties in removing 3rd party billing from his phone bill. A practice known as cramming. Cramming is where obscure companies place billing charges on your phone bill, using your carrier to do the billing. For example a company called MyScamBilling could put charges on your phone bill with no authorization from anyone, with no verification that the billing is even legitimate. And you phone company will require you to pay it, or possibly send you to collections. Sweet.
The hope is that consumers just become frustrated and pay the charges, or they may not even notice them at all if the charges are small. And good luck getting them to even stop. They guy in the article called all the companies and asked them to stop. Low-and-behold… they didn’t stop, they just kept billing.
The article suggests that you request that you phone company disallow any 3rd party billing charges to your account. In effect stopping anyone from putting charges on your phone bill that don’t come directly from your phone company. AT&T will honor that request.
Like the good boy that I am, I immediately called my phone company, Qwest, and asked to block all 3rd party billing charges from my account. They flat out refused! Nope, they just won’t do it.
So it looks like the crammers best friend is Qwest. That’s good to know.
Qwest customers take notice, you may get some crammer’s scam billing on your phone bill and you are just SOL. Pay up those fraudulent charges, or Qwest will come after you and ruin your credit.