U.S. turns up the heat as it combats unauthorized fees on phone bills. Should Canada follow suit?

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski has stated that he plans to propose rules that will help corral unauthorized fees on consumers’ monthly phone bills.

The U.S. communications regulator says that “cramming”—the illegal placement of extra charges on phone bills—affects upward of 20 million Americans can add as much as $20 per month to a consumer’s bill.

Said charges are typically hidden in complex bill statements and are often cryptic in language, rendering them unnoticed in many cases.

Julius stated that the FCC “will not tolerate cramming” and that he plans to “turn up the heat” on companies ripping off consumers with unauthorized fees.

High-profile incidents of cramming involve Verizon Wireless, which coughed up $25 million in a settlement plus $50 million in refunds after a 10-month investigation revealed it was charging “mystery fees,” as well as four companies that combined for $12 million in charges for long distance services that consumers did not order.

“Unauthorized charges on bills must be punished,” Julius affirmed.

This whip-cracking is definitely good news for the U.S.

Do you think this is a problem in Canada? Would our communications regulator crack down on our telecom industry in this manner?