Torrance state Sen. Ted Lieu, a Democrat, has introduced a bill he says will protect consumers who use credit and debit cards on California pay phones.

Acknowledging relatively few people still use pay phones, Lieu said phone companies should not be allowed to mislead consumers about the price of calls. Often, he said, pay phones will advertise a lower price for coin calls, like 50 cents, without mentioning a credit card call can cost considerably more. He said a 20-second call can cost as much as $20.

Senate Bill 50 would require pay phone operators to warn consumers of the real price of credit and debit card calls. The Public Utilities Commission would be able to impose fines for violations.

- Brian Sumers


Advertisement