The Federal Communications Commission is putting its foot down on some shady practices in the phone industry.
The agency voted to establish a clear ban on the practice of "cramming," which forced unauthorized charges onto your phone bill, and "slamming," which switches your service without your consent or knowledge. The ban extends to lies said during sales calls as well as to marketing material, and it invalidates any authorization given by consumers to switch service.
The rules will be a relief to traditional phone customers, but Public Knowledge noted that the protections don't extend to digital options such as voice-over internet protocol, or VoIP, phone services.
"Consumers don't feel any better when they are ripped off by shiny new digital telephone service rather than legacy analog service," said Harold Feld, senior vice president of the consumer interest group. "Consumers deserve protection no matter what technology they use to make phone calls."