To recap, cramming is the unsavory act of tacking an unrequested service fee to a phone bill. It’s been a land-line scheme for years and now appears to be full-on scourge in the mobile phone world. Customers find themselves enrolled, without their consent, in a short-message service, or SMS, which delivers texts on celebrity gossip, dating and other kinds of invaluable information. The monthly fees — often in the $9 range — as well as the service come from third-party providers, which is a generic term for what are, in many instances, very shadowy companies that behave very badly.
In our last episode, a woman discovered that a Georgia-based company called Wise Media had crammed a $9.99 charge to her cellphone bill in recent months. Her carrier, AT&T, promptly refunded the charges, which turns out to be standard operating procedure, and may go a long way toward explaining why the outrage about cellphone cramming has not yet exploded like cartoon dynamite.
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