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Group pushes for ban on third-party phone charges

Published: Saturday, March 31, 2012 5:30 a.m. CST

CHICAGO – A consumer advocacy group is pushing for the passage of Illinois legislation designed to combat third-party charges on phone bills for service never ordered or rendered.

The bill that targets the practice called "cramming" is now before the Illinois Senate. The House approved it unanimously last week.

The Citizens Utility Board said the legislation would place a near complete ban on the third-party charges.

CUB spokesman Patrick Deignan told a news conference Thursday it's time to boot what he called "scam artists" off phone bills.

A U.S. Senate committee recently estimated that customers across the country pay up to $2 billion a year in third-party charges – with a large percentage of those unauthorized.

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