Pennsylvania Office of Consumer Advocate
555 Walnut Street
5th Floor Forum Place
Harrisburg, PA 17101-1923

Phone: 717-783-5048 or toll free 800-684-6560
Fax: 717-783-7152



Toll Free Number


 (PA only)

Cramming is the term used to describe the act of adding charges to your telephone bill for services you did not knowingly authorize, such as voice mail service, 800# service or calling cards. Charges can be added to your account several ways. Perhaps someone filled out an entry form at a public location with their name and phone number in hopes of winning a free prize. In small writing, at the bottom of the form, it usually says that by filling out the form you authorize that particular company to add a service to be billed through your local phone company. Cramming can also occur for no known reason--sometimes the charges are added to your account by a third party billing company.

It is very important that consumers check every page of their phone bill to make sure that you are not being charged for extras that should not be there. These charges may be difficult to identify because they are sometimes listed just as a "non basic" charge instead of being itemized. If you want to find out what these charges are, call your local phone company.

If you are a victim of cramming:

  1. Notify you local phone company to advise them that you dispute the unauthorized charges. Request that the charges be removed from your account and ask them to contact the billing company to have the charges stopped immediately.
  2. File a complaint with the FCC, against the Company that added these charges to your account. The FCC has ranked cramming and slamming as one of the top complaints they receive. Also, file a complaint with the Attorney General's Bureau of Consumer Protection by calling 1-800-441-2555 to request a complaint form.





Commonwealth Website