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Posts tagged: Consumer protection

Washington, Idaho get cash through AT&T ‘cramming’ settlement

About 40 U.S. attorneys general announced they arranged a $105 million settlement with AT&T Mobility to resolve consumer problems over the problem of cell phone “cramming” charges.

Washington will get about $807,000 from the settlement. Idaho will get about $230,000 from the settlement.

The news for consumers is better than that. Many are eligible to apply for a refund.  Washington has around 500,000 AT&T customers, according to a release from the Washington Attorney General office.

Cramming is the unauthorized addition of charges on cell phone bills, often done at the behest of third-party companies sending text messages or trying to lure customers into adding services.

Under the agreement, AT&T will make sure it has the customer's consent before billing for third-party charges.
AT&T will continue offering consumers the option to block all third-party charges. Other phone carriers, not just AT&T, offer third-party blocking service for free.

Consumers can find out more information about the refund process and submit claims by visiting the website.

To determine if you are eligible for a refund, you can also contact the FTC’s refund contractor at 1-877-819-9692 for more information.

Consumers can check out businesses at state fraud website

Wondering how that contractor managed to underbid his competition by so much?  Maybe it’s because he doesn’t pay his taxes, does shoddy work or will take your money and run.

You can find out at, a website developed with the Washington state departments of Revenue, Labor & Industries, and Employment Security. The site is an effort to cut down on an underground economy of businesses that don’t play by the rules and to pursue individuals that evade paying their fair share of taxes.

Links allow consumers to check to see if a registered business is properly licensed, owes the state taxes, has had complaints filed against it, or is the subject of state enforcement actions.

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John Stucke John Stucke is a deputy city editor who helps build local news coverage and writes about health care, bankruptcy and rural affairs.

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Alison Boggs (@alisonboggs) Online Producer Alison Boggs posts and manages content on and its social networking accounts.

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Scott Maben Scott Maben is a Deputy City Editor who covers North Idaho news and higher education.

Addy Hatch is the city editor, and formerly was business editor.

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