Phone Billing Company will Pay $5.2 Million to FTC for Violating 1999 Court Order
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Phone Billing Company will Pay $5.2 Million to FTC for Violating 1999 Court Order

Billing Services Group is also banned from unauthorized billing and must monitor its services for possible fraud

May 4, 2016

For violating a 1999 court order, a phone billing company will now have to pay $5.2 million to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

Nearly two decades ago, Billing Services Group settled with the agency and were prohibited from unauthorized billing, misrepresentations to consumers, and billing for vendors who fail to clearly disclose the terms of their services.

The company, however, operated as a phone billing aggregator, passing charges from third parties to telephone companies for placement on consumers' telephone bills. As part of the current order, BSG admit that they permitted unauthorized billed, failed to vet charges before processing them and that they did not investigate consumer complaints about unauthorized charges.

BSG will be banned from placing charges on consumers' phone bills for enhanced services such as email or voicemail, and prohibited from placing unauthorized charges on any type of consumer bill. In its current business, which involves providing wireless intermediary services to telephone companies and WiFi providers, the proposed order will require it to monitor their servers' traffic for possible fraud.

The proposed order imposes a $5.2 million judgment, to be paid in 10 payments every 90 days. Under the proposed order, if the defendants fail to make a payment, the court will impose a judgment of $17 million.