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Telecom Cost Control: Shield Your Bill from Invaders!

While scrutinizing an AT&T phone bill for a client recently, I discovered some mysterious charges on the very last page of the bill. Poorly labeled and weakly described were services for webhosting for $39.95 per month from a company called These charges had been billed for over two years without anyone noticing. In this case the charges were in error and I was able to obtain a refund for my client, but I have seen other cases where the charges were downright fraudulent (referred to as “Cramming”). This practice of the phone company billing for other companies is referred to as “third-party billing” and is legal when done properly. Legal or not, you want to be aware of it.

So first of all, you need to read your phone bill every month. Carefully! These and other types of charges, legitimate and not, can find their way onto your bill and you need to catch them early. If you see something on your bill and you don’t know exactly what it’s for, call the carrier and get the explanation you are entitled to.

Second, you can protect against surprises like the Bizzfinders charge above by having your carrier put a block on Third-Party billing. It’s not total protection against over-billing, but it does plug one of the holes.


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dick nealy
Title: Trusted Advisor
Company: Family Office services
(Trusted Advisor, Family Office services) |

Thank you for reminding us to utilize blocking features. An easy way to keep some costs in line. And we need to tackle too! (sorry, could not resist the football analogy).

Mark Von Der Linn
Title: Principal
(Principal, |

Hah, yes, sometimes I wish could tackle (literally) these third-party scammers.


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