Text Cramming Can Cost You On Your Cell Phone Bill

10:30 PM, May 13, 2012   |    comments
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Greensboro, NC -- It's your money.

You don't need anyone to help you spend it.

And you certainly aren't asking for more expenses, especially if you're getting nothing for what you pay.

Text cramming sounds pretty bad - and it is, for your wallet.

Here's the idea.

Cramming companies get your cell number from surveys, compiled lists or sometimes they guess.

They send you a text in the form of a service offer with a monthly charge.

They offer things like weight loss services, premium texting, entertainment, sports scores or horoscopes.

And the charge can end up on your bill.

$9.99 is a common fee. And you have to look closely to see it.

How is this happening?

Wireless companies enter into contracts with what are called "billing aggregators." And those billing aggregators enter into contracts with the crammers. The phone companies make money. The billing aggregators make money. The crammers make money. The consumers lose a lot of money.

Some members of Congress now realize cell phone cramming is a new and lawless frontier. Some members are urging the FCC to require mobile phone providers to confirm consent before adding a charge onto a consumer's bill.

The Better Business Bureau advises you to call your cell phone provider and get the charge taken off.

And you can go one step further and ask your phone company to block third-party charges.

But even that is not going to stop every cramming charge.

The best way to fight it is by looking closely at your bill.

And don't respond to the texts.

Experts say that shows the crammers they have a "live" phone number and that could lead to even more unwanted texts and more charges.

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