900 Number Charges

As an attorney for the legal department at DWI, I’ve recently received a letter from an attorney for the Kettles in our Appalachian Bell network. They are disputing $500 in 900 number charges that were placed by their 12 year old grandson without their knowledge. From my research of the public and private law implications of this matter, we will need to implement some policies in order to address future problems.
For starters, the private law directs us to the point that we could have contacted the Kettles after the first call to a 900 number. Because there had never been any activity of this nature prior, it would have been a simple courtesy just to follow up before it had the chance to get out of hand. On the public law side of things, as long as the Kettles pay their regular phone charges, we cannot disconnect service for nonpayment of the 900 number charges. Customers also have the Telephone Disclosure and Dispute Resolution Act of 1992 (TDDRA) to lean on if we do not make provisions of our own.
My recommendation for future incidents is that we implement a couple of policies to help thwart disputed charges from occurring. We can have customers set up a password in order to access the 900 number prefix, if they so choose. Another policy that would help is to give customers the ability to choose 900 number blocking so that unwanted 900 numbers will not go through. We can also make it a regular practice to set up an alert process when calls are made just to confirm that the customer has authorized the call(s). In the case of the Kettles, we can waive the charges as a one-time courtesy, expressing to them that is with the understanding that there will be no more calls to 900 numbers in the future.
If the board is in agreement, I will send my recommen ...
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