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Mobile phone carriers stop billing problematic third party charges

AT&T, Sprint & T-Mobile will stop billing third-party charges that are major source of cramming complaints from customers
November 26, 2013

Forty-five states led by Vermont, Delaware, Florida, Maryland, Oregon, Texas and Washington have been engaged in discussions aimed at stopping the practice of mobile cramming - unauthorized third-party charges that appear on mobile telephone bills.

Three of the nation’s largest mobile phone carriers - AT&T Mobility, Sprint and T-Mobile - will no longer charge their customers for commercial Premium Short Messaging Services, also known as PSMS, or “premium text messages” - Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden has announced. PSMS accounts for the majority of third-party charges on cell phones and for the overwhelming majority of cramming complaints

“This is a positive step for cell phone users, but there is still a lot of work to be done,” Biden said. “My office will keep working to recover money for customers who have been victimized by cramming and to ensure that this problem is addressed by phone companies in the future.”

Premium text messages are often used as a way for supporters to easily donate to a charity. AT&T and T-Mobile will create an exception to their ban on PSMS charges so their customers can still donate to charities via their phones. Sprint has not confirmed its position on this issue.