CONGRESSWOMAN ELISE STEFANIK
On Tuesday, December 6, 2016, the House will consider H. Res. 932, Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives with respect to third-party charges on consumer telephone bills, under suspension of the rules. The resolution was introduced on November 29, 2016 by Rep. Janice Schakowsky (R-IL) and was referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce.
H. Res. 932 is resolved that the House of Representatives:
In certain situations, telephone companies are obligated to allow third parties to bill for services on a consumer’s monthly telephone bill. Furthermore, “cramming” is defined as the act of placing unauthorized charges on a wireline, wireless, or bundled services telephone bill of a consumer. While charges are listed on the phone bill, the charges may not actually be from the phone company.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) estimates that cramming has harmed over tens of millions of people in the United States. Unfortunately, all anti-cramming protections implemented to-date have not been able to prevent financial harm to consumers. This bill would require the FCC to complete a formal rulemaking within two years to protect consumers from cramming.
According to the bill’s sponsor, “In 2014 and 2015, federal consumer watchdogs and state attorney generals reached settlements with major wireless companies totaling $353 million to stop these unfair charges. My bill would build on that progress, requiring the FCC to establish permanent protection for consumers paying for wireless, landline, and bundled phone services. No phone company should allow these outrageous fees on their bills.”
A Congressional Budget Office cost estimate is not available at this time.
For questions about amendments or further information on the bill, contact John Wilson with the House Republican Policy Committee by email or at 6-1811.