Billing Services Group Reacts To Motion By Federal Trade Commission

May 08, 2012, 13:47 ET from Billing Services Group

SAN ANTONIO, May 8, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Billing Services Group (BSG) released the following statement in response to the Federal Trade Commission's (FTC) Motion for Order to Show Cause, filed in the San Antonio division of the United States District Court:

"The information cited in the FTC's Motion was obtained through the FBI's investigation of Alternate Billing Corp., which, while formerly a BSG client, is not an entity of BSG.

"This Motion represents an incomplete and inaccurate representation of the facts and leaps to false conclusions. Apparently, the FTC's view is that, because BSG settled litigation 13 years ago, BSG is liable for contempt whenever a service provider is able to evade the compliance measures implemented by BSG, regardless of BSG's diligence and good faith.   The bottom line is that the FTC is trying to blame BSG for the acts of another party.

"BSG cooperated fully with the FBI in its investigation of Alternate Billing Corp. Throughout the investigation, the company was repeatedly informed that BSG was not suspected of any wrongdoing.

"The information cited in this Motion was obtained through several years of investigation by two government agencies into the business practices of Alternate Billing Corp., using a multitude of information sources apart from BSG's own records. To assert that BSG would have had any unique insight into Alternate Billing's operations that would have led it to suspect cramming is ridiculous.  Indeed, much of the information relied upon was never made available to BSG; the FTC obtained the information because it has the power to subpoena third parties.  

"Every year, millions of consumers choose to have charges for a variety of services placed directly onto their phone bill, such as long distance, operator services, collect calling, computer technical support and charitable contributions. This billing option, known as 'third-party billing,' provides consumers with a payment option that does not carry an interest charge, spares them from the inconvenience of managing multiple bills, and provides them with access to more service providers at more competitive rates. Consumers authorize third-party billing charges before they are placed on a phone bill.  BSG does not provide services to or bill consumers directly.

"The FTC plainly misunderstands BSG's business, and declined our invitation to meet with them about our due diligence processes before filing its motion in March.  BSG has fought hard to stop crammers since our incorporation 23 years ago. We have a strict protocol in place to thwart cramming, including a 100-point review process that all businesses must go through before we allow them to bill any customers, monthly performance evaluations, and a thorough review of all customer inquiries.  Our process includes pre-screening vendors, authenticating charges and testing to confirm the authenticity of charges.  We believe in the effectiveness of our due diligence processes, which have reduced reports of cramming to extraordinarily low levels."

The Motion claims that BSG violated three core provisions of a Permanent Injunction entered into by Hold Billing Services, Ltd. (HBS) on September 22, 1999.

About Billing Services Group
Billing Services Group (BSG) is the nation's largest third-party billing and settlement clearinghouse for local telephone service billing. BSG partners with hundreds of merchants, as well as several charitable organizations to allow donors to give to their favorite causes by making one-time or monthly contributions charged to their land line telephone.  The company is headquartered in San Antonio, Texas, USA and traded on the London Stock Exchange (AIM: BILL). For more information on BSG, visit

SOURCE Billing Services Group