Vt. AG pushes to end extra charges on cell bills

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By AP

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Updated: Thu, 21 Nov 2013 10:18:30 EST

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — Vermont's attorney general says telecommunications companies AT&T Mobility, Sprint and T-Mobile have agreed to stop charging customers for premium text messages.

Attorney General Bill Sorrell says Vermont is leading 45 states in trying to end the unauthorized third-party cellphone bill charges. He said Thursday premium text messages account for the majority of complaints about the practice, called cramming.

Premium texts are part of messaging services offered by third-party providers for extra fees, such as voting during television reality shows and weather alerts. Sorrell says they have some benefits, including charitable giving.

The Washington state attorney general's office says AT&T and T-Mobile confirm they'll keep allowing charitable donations billed via premium text messages but Sprint can't confirm that. The companies haven't replied to emails seeking comment.

Verizon Wireless says it doesn't agree with all the Vermont attorney general's allegations.

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