FCC Reaches $550,000 Cramming Settlement with CenturyLink

The Federal Communications Commission announced a settlement with CenturyLink to resolve an investigation into the company’s placement of unauthorized third-party charges and fees onto consumers’ bills. This practice, known as cramming, is unjust and unreasonable under the Communications Act. During its investigation, the Enforcement Bureau reviewed complaints from CenturyLink customers. Consumers stated that they discovered unauthorized third-party charges on their CenturyLink bills and, in some cases, had difficulty getting timely refunds. As part of the settlement, the company has agreed to pay $550,000 to the US Treasury and has committed to a compliance plan designed to protect consumers and prevent future cramming. CenturyLink has agreed to cease billing for third parties, with certain narrow exceptions, and to implement a process for providing refunds or credits to customers with valid complaints about unauthorized charges. CenturyLink will also allow customers to block future third-party charges and have available upon customers’ request all recent billing information related to third-party charges. In addition, CenturyLink commits to revise its processes, conduct staff training to avoid any further placement of unauthorized third-party charges on customers’ bills, and file regular compliance reports with the FCC.

FCC Reaches $550,000 Cramming Settlement with CenturyLink see Consent Decree