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Consumer Protection Starts with TPV

Third Party Verification calls ensure a consumer's full understanding of the agreement they are about to enter. It's one of the best consumer protection mechanisms available, and nobody does it better than the Sales Verification Company. Our TPV agents provide a concise and professional review of all terms of an agreement, complementing the sales process and eliminating any future misunderstanding between customer and service provider.

The TPV call is a safeguard that conscientious providers employ, and one that consumers should welcome as a sign of a reputable service partner.

Unfortunately, there are plenty of consumer snares out there, and in this space we’ve examined some of the danger areas: slamming and spoofing and phishing, oh my.

There’s another funny-sounding deceptive practice for which consumers must be on the lookout: cramming.

Cramming is the practice of placing unauthorized, misleading or deceptive charges on a bill you normally pay. So the trick is not the unauthorized switch, like slamming, but the slipping in of “fees” above the bottom line. Crammers rely on confusing bills in an attempt get consumers to pay for services they did not authorize or receive, or that cost more than the consumer was led to believe.

Cramming charges most often occur on local phone bills. It comes in many forms and is often hard to spot unless you examine your bill closely. The Federal Communications Commission notes that while many services described below can be legitimate if you authorize them, they could also constitute cramming.

• Charges for services that are explained on your telephone bill in general terms such as “service fee,” “service charge,” “other fees,” “voicemail,” “mail server,” “calling plan,” “psychic” and “membership;”

• Charges that are added to your telephone bill every month without a clear explanation of the services provided – such as a “monthly fee” or “minimum monthly usage fee;” and

• Charges for an authorized service, but you were misled about its actual cost.

The FCC's Truth-in-Billing rules require telephone companies to provide clear, non-misleading, plain language in describing services for which you are being billed. If you see something on your bill that you don’t like, call the company to inquire. If you’re still not satisfied, you may fill a complaint with the FCC.

Nobody does TPV better than The Sales Verification Company. Protect your company, your customers and your marketing investment. Contact us to discuss a third party verification campaign.

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