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How to Protect Yourself Against Slamming

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Released: May 12, 2010

NEWS
Federal Communications Commission

News Media Information 202 / 418-0500

445 12th Street, S.W.

Internet: http://www.fcc.gov

Washington, D. C. 20554

TTY: 1-888-835-5322

This is an unofficial announcement of Commission action. Release of the full text of a Commission order constitutes official action.
See MCI v. FCC. 515 F 2d 385 (D.C. Circ 1974).

May 12, 2010

How to Protect Yourself Against Slamming

Be a careful consumer.

Always examine your telephone bill immediately and thoroughly. If you see a new
telephone company name on your bill, call the number that's shown on that portion of the
bill and ask for an explanation.

Be aware of the methods telephone companies can use to change your authorized
telephone company legally. The FCC's rules require telephone companies to obtain your
clear permission to make such a change. For example, if a new telephone company sends
you a Letter of Agency (LOA) to verify that you want to switch to that company, the
LOA is only valid if you sign and date it. Sign, date, and return the LOA only if you are
sure you want to change to the new company.
Be sure you understand that switching long distance service also means switching
international service. If you are considering switching your long distance telephone
company, be sure to ask whether any international calling plans you have with your
current long distance company will be offered by the new company.
Be firm with telemarketers.
If you receive a call from a telemarketer about switching your authorized telephone
company and you're not interested in changing, tell the telemarketer clearly. You can
also ask the telemarketer to remove your telephone number from its solicitation lists, and
place your residential telephone number on the national Do-Not-Call list. For more
information about the national Do-Not-Call list, see the FCC consumer fact sheet at
www.fcc.gov/cgb/consumerfacts/tcpa.html.
"Freeze" your existing authorized telephone company.
You can ask your local telephone company to place a "freeze" on your account to keep
anyone other than you from changing your authorized telephone company selection.
After placing a freeze, you must give your local telephone company written or verbal
authorization to remove the freeze and change your authorized telephone company.
More information on slamming is at: http://www.fcc.gov/cgb/consumerfacts/slamming.html

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