Quinn Hangs Up on Phone Crammers

Law would prohibit providers from practice

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Gov. Quinn is going after mystery charges on your phone bill.

    Gov. Pat Quinn signed a bill Sunday aimed at protecting telephone consumers from a practice known as "cramming."

    The new law prohibits third-party telecommunication providers from adding charges to phone bills without consumers' consent. The practice is known as "cramming."

    Phone providers can now charge consumers only if they meet certain conditions, including clearly disclosing the charges and getting consumers' consent.

    The bill was supported by Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan, industry groups and the AARP.

    "I applaud the Illinois Attorney General’s hard work in support of this new law, which will combat the growing problem of unauthorized telephone surcharge scams," Quinn said. "Also, it is especially appropriate that this important consumer protection legislation be signed into law on the eve of CUB’s 25th Anniversary."

    The watchdog group Citizens Utility Board offers all kinds of tips for consumers to save money on their phone, cable and other utility bills, and also lobbies utilities on behalf of consumers.