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Published January 07 2011

Swanson, Klobuchar go after phone bill 'cramming'

ST. PAUL (AP) — Attorney General Lori Swanson and U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar are getting tough on unauthorized charges that appear on consumers' phone bills in a practice known as cramming.

Swanson sued Cheap2Dial Telephone LLC on Friday. She alleges the Pennsylvania company billed more than 2,500 Minnesota consumers since 2008 for long-distance services they didn't authorize or use, and says the monthly charges of about $17 went mostly unnoticed on phone bills.

An e-mail message to Cheap2Dial seeking comment was not immediately returned. A call to its main phone number was left on indefinite hold.

Klobuchar says the Senate Commerce Committee is investigating telephone companies over their role in billing for the charges.

Swanson is warning consumers to monitor their phone bills carefully for unwanted charges that may show up in relatively small amounts.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.