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Bill Cramming Becomes A Mobile Problem

ATLANTA (UPI) — The Federal Trade Commission says it’s filed charges in Atlanta against a marketing firm for padding mobile phone bills with charges for unauthorized services.

Commonly referred to as bill cramming, the FTC charged Wise Media, two of its owners and Concrete Marketing Research with benefiting from deceptive sales practices, The New York Times reported Thursday.

The practice that is generally associated with land lines is now a concern for mobile phone users, the Times said.

It involves sneaking charges onto a phone bill for advice on how to flirt, unwanted horoscopes text messages and other services that consumers either don’t notice or fail to take actions to stop. In other instances, consumers direct the marketers to stop sending unwanted services and these stop orders are ignored, regulators said.

Often the bill for an unwanted service is tacked onto a bill — typically $9.99 per month — and the consumer does not notice it is there. After a time, the size of the bill is assumed to fall within a new range. Once a consumer begins to expect a bill of a certain size, they often stop scrutinizing the bill to see why it is so high.

The FTC said in typical fashion, Wise Media and Concrete Marketing had gone to “great lengths to hide its contact  information from consumers.” The Times said neither the companies nor the two owners could be reached for comment.

Jobless claims up by 4,000Thursday, April 18, 2013 7:59 AMWASHINGTON, April 18 (UPI) —  The U.S. Labor Department said first-time jobless benefits claims rose by 4,000 to 352,000 in the week that ended last Saturday.

The department revised last week’s estimate from 346,000 to 348,000.

The four-week rolling average for the week increased by 2,750 to 361,250.

The largest increases in initial claims for the week ending April 6 were in New York with a gain of 20,120, North Carolina with a gain of 4,403 and Ohio, up by 3,029.

The largest decreases were in California, down by 12,893, Kentucky by 1,318 and Pennsylvania with 1,299 fewer claims.

UPI - United Press International, Inc.

Since 1907, United Press International (UPI) has been a leading provider of critical information to media outlets, businesses, governments and researchers worldwide.

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