FCC Releases Report and Order Codifying Cramming Rule
On June 8, 2018, the Commission released a Report and Order (the “Order”) in the matter of Protecting Consumers from Unauthorized Carrier Changes and Related Unauthorized Charges proceeding (FCC 18-78, GN Docket No. 17-169). Notably for CMRS providers, the Order codifies in Section 64.2401(g) a prohibition on the placement of unauthorized charges on telephone bills, also known as “cramming”. Although the Commission commends the wireless industry for its efforts to reduce the incidents of cramming, it ultimately determines that wireless providers will be subject to this rule, in addition to wireline providers.
The Order also codifies a ban on material misrepresentations in sales calls that encourage the consumer to switch telephone carriers (“slamming”) and takes steps to improve the effectiveness of the existing third party verification process aimed at preventing slamming, but the Commission continues to only apply these rules to wireline carriers at this time.
On July 17, 2018, the Order was published in the Federal Register, establishing the effective date of August 16, 2018.
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