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CRAMMING NPRM FCC 11-106 John B. Adams Policy Division Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau 202-418-2854.

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Presentation on theme: "CRAMMING NPRM FCC 11-106 John B. Adams Policy Division Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau 202-418-2854."— Presentation transcript:

1 CRAMMING NPRM FCC John B. Adams Policy Division Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau

2 Cramming NPRM; FCC ► Ex Parte Issues  47 C.F.R ► Anything substantive must be summarized in writing filed within 2 days ► Summary must list each and every person participating in meeting ► Strongly encourage everyone to save substantive remarks for comments ► Feel free to ask questions about NPRM

3 Cramming NPRM; FCC ► Adopted and released July 12, 2011 ► Comment dates:  Initial Comments:October 24, 2011  Reply Comments:November 21, 2011

4 Cramming NPRM; FCC ► Cramming:  Placing unauthorized charges on telephone bill  Usually third-party charge  Can be carrier charge  Often fraudulent

5 Cramming NPRM; FCC ► Amends Truth-in-Billing Rules  47 C.F.R –  Proposed Rules ► 3 proposed requirements for wireline carriers ► 1 proposed requirement for CMRS carriers ► Reflects complaint numbers (82% wireline; 16% CMRS)  Other issues for comment

6 Cramming NPRM; FCC ► Wireline: if offer customers ability to block third-party charges, must inform customers on bill, on website, at point of sale  Many wireline carriers already offer, but not inform customers until crammed  Many customers unaware of third-party charges  Questions: ► Formatting: apparent to reasonable consumer ► Fees ► Other

7 Cramming NPRM; FCC ► Wireline: place third-party charges in distinct section of bill, separate from carrier charges  TIB rules: separate by carrier  Questions: ► Separate listing of third-party charges on page 1 ► Other ways highlight third-party charges ► Additional description of biller

8 Cramming NPRM; FCC ► Wireline and CMRS  notify customers that complaints can be filed with FCC  provide FCC complaint contact info (telephone number and website address ) on bills and carrier websites  websites include link to FCC’s webpage for filing complaints  GAO report: consumers not know where to complain

9 Cramming NPRM; FCC ► Other issues for comment  Apply same rules to wireline, CMRS, interconnected VOIP a/k/a Internet phone  Disclose contact info for third parties  Require wireline to block third-party charges upon customer request  Wireline disclose if do not offer blocking of third-party charges

10 Cramming NPRM; FCC ► Other issues for comment  Prohibit all third-party charges on wireline bills  Screen third-parties for prior violations of state and federal law before agree to bill for them  Improve federal-state coordination ► Information sharing ► State enforcement and legislation ► New and updated info about extent of cramming

11 Cramming NPRM; FCC ► Other issues for comment  Define “service” or “service provider” in TIB rules or use different term ► TIB rules refer to charges from “service provider” ► Loophole? ► Request specific rule language  Accessibility

12 Cramming NPRM; FCC ► Senate Commerce Committee  Hearing on July 13, 2011 ► Chairman Rockefeller stated intent to introduce bill to prohibit third-party charges ► Questions raised about efficacy of existing voluntary industry guidelines versus state prohibitions ► Industry argued in favor of self-policing, but admitted cramming still a problem ► Attorneys General argued for regulation (ban preferred)

13 Cramming NPRM; FCC ► Senate Commerce Committee Staff Report  Key Findings (per Press Release 7/12/11) ► Third-party billing is billion dollar industry ► Most third-party charges appear fraudulent ► Telephone companies profit from cramming ► Cramming affects entire wireline customer base ► Many third-party vendors are illegitimate and created solely to exploit third-party billing

14 Cramming NPRM; FCC ► Senate Commerce Committee Staff Report  Key Findings (per Press Release 7/12/11) ► Telephone companies are aware that cramming is major problem on their bills ► Telephone customers reported negative experiences with seeking assistance from telephone companies ► Industry anti-cramming efforts largely failed

15 Cramming NPRM; FCC ► Senate Commerce Committee website: ► Resources include:  Committee Staff Report  Press Releases  Video of hearing

16 Cramming NPRM; FCC ► Questions


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