On October 18, 2013, the FCC issued a Public Notice confirming the deadlines to submit comments and reply comments to refresh the record in the FCC’s pending “cramming” proceeding. Comments are due by November 18 and reply comments are due by December 2, 2013.
The deadlines were set pursuant to an earlier Public Notice, which based the comment and reply deadlines on the date that earlier Public Notice would be published in the Federal Register. Now that the earlier Public Notice has been published, the deadlines have been determined.
The FCC’s “cramming” proceeding is one of several pending proceedings intended to address the end user customer experience when it comes to telecommunications services. “Cramming” refers to “the unlawful and fraudulent practice of placing unauthorized charges on telephone bills.” In April 2012, the FCC adopted rules intended to help wireline consumers prevent and detect cramming. The FCC also sought further comment at that time on whether it should take additional steps to prevent cramming in both the wireline and wireless contexts. A number of developments have occurred since that time, including the adoption by major wireline carriers of voluntary commitments to cease to include most third-party charges on telephone bills. State attorneys general also have expressed concern about the growth of cramming on wireless bills. These are among the subjects about which the FCC is looking to refresh the record.