Consumer groups and telecommunications industry participants in a two-day workshop at the Federal Trade Commission beginning Thursday, June 19, at 9 a.m. will examine increased consumer complaints about unauthorized calls to pay-per-call services, calls by minors, and "phantom billing" where consumers allege no one was at home when a call showing up on their bill purportedly was made. Participants also will look at industry concern over the level of allegedly inappropriate chargebacks for pay-per-call services and possible solutions to these and other billing and collection issues. The FTC Workshop on Pay-Per-Call Rulemaking is part of the FTC's proceeding on whether to expand its 900-Number Rule to cover audio information and entertainment services accessed by dialing telephone numbers that begin with numbers other than "900" and to review whether the rule has been effective in curing abuses associated with 900-number services. The workshop -- in room 432 at FTC headquarters, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue N.W., in Washington, D.C., is open to the media and the public.
Congressman Bart Gordon of Tennessee will deliver the opening remarks at the workshop. Participants will include representatives of AT&T, Consumers Union, MCI, the National Association of Attorneys General and the National Consumers League. A full agenda and list of participants is attached: in addition, there will be an opportunity for public participation both afternoons.
Copies of the agenda, as well as a notice the FTC published in the Federal Register in March announcing the rule review are available from the FTC's web site at http://www.ftc.gov and also from the FTC's Public Reference Branch, Room 130, 6th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20580; 202-326-2222; TTY for the hearing impaired 1-866-653-4261. To find out the latest news as it is announced, call the FTC NewsPhone recording at 202-326-2710.