Slamming and Cramming

“Slamming” occurs when a phone company illegally switches your phone service without your permission. If you notice a different company name on your bill or see phone charges that are higher than normal, take action:

Contact the company that slammed you and ask to be switched back to your original company. Tell them you are exercising your right to refuse to pay any charges. Report the problem to USA Communications and ask to be enrolled in your previous calling plan.

“Cramming” occurs when companies add charges to your telephone bill without your permission. These charges may be for services such as voice-mail, ringtones, or club memberships. You may not notice these monthly charges because they are relatively small, $5 to $30, and look like your regular phone charges.

Take these steps to avoid slammers and crammers
Put a block on changes to your phone service. USA Communications offers this service at no charge. It requires us to notify you before making any changes to your service.

Read the fine print on contest entry forms and coupons. You could be agreeing to switch your phone service or buy optional services.

Watch out for impostors. Companies could falsely claim to be calling on our behalf and offer some type of discount plan or change in billing. They might also say they are taking a survey or pretend to be a government agency.

Beware of “negative option notices.” You can be switched or signed up for optional services unless you say no. Examine your telephone bill carefully, including pages that show the details, and look for suspicious charges.

Your phone service cannot be shut off for refusal to pay for unauthorized services. If you suspect Slamming or Cramming, please contact us immediately at 1-800-248-8007. If you’re unable to resolve your complaint, contact your local or state consumer protection agency, the Iowa Utilities Board, or the FCC.