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The Federal Trade Commission is moving to give consumers more protection from being billed for 900 telephone number charges that are not justified.

The rules proposed this week would expand upon Federal Communications Commission regulations already in effect that require 900 number operators to tell callers up front how much they're being charged and sound a tone when the charges begin."We add a lot of detail about what you have to do (if you run a 900 number) to make sure your ads are clear and conspicuous," said Barry Cutler, head of the FTC's consumer protection bureau. He said the aim is to give consumers the same rights that they have with credit card billing disputes.

Under the proposed rules, companies using a 900-number to sell a product or service must reveal in their print and broadcast advertising the total cost of the call, whether it is a flat fee or a cost-per-minute deal.

The operator also must say whether the rate will change during the call and the cost of any service to which the caller may be transferred.

In television advertising, the charge for the call must be adjacent to the 900 number, be in the same size type and stay on the screen as long as the number.