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FCC Proposes $3.56M Fine Against CTI in Cramming, Slamming Case

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Released: December 17, 2013

NEWS
Federal Communications Commission

News Media Information 202 / 418-0500

445 12th Street, S.W.

Internet: http://www.fcc.gov

Washington, D. C. 20554

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. Cir. 1974).

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

:

NEWS MEDIA CONTACT

:
December 17, 2013
Mark Wigfield, 202-418-0253
E-mail: mark.wigfield@fcc.gov

FCC PROPOSES $3.56 MILLION FINE AGAINST CONSUMER TELCOM, INC., FOR

DECEPTIVE SLAMMING, CRAMMING, AND BILLING PRACTICES

Washington, D.C. – The Federal Communications Commission has proposed $3.56 million in
fines against Consumer Telcom, Inc. (CTI), for apparently engaging in deceptive marketing
practices, changing consumers’ preferred long distance carriers without their authorization
(“slamming”), billing consumers for unauthorized charges (“cramming”), and failing to describe
telephone charges plainly and clearly as required by federal law.
Numerous consumers complained that CTI’s telemarketers had tricked them into believing that
the telemarketers were calling on behalf of the consumers’ existing long distance providers. The
consumers were then shocked to learn that CTI had switched their preferred long distance carrier
and billed them for charges they had not authorized. In many cases, CTI apparently took
advantage of consumers by masking the true purpose of the call and then profiting from their
obvious confusion about the questions they were asked. Many of the deceived consumers were
elderly, hearing impaired, or infirm.
The Commission had previously warned carriers that it would take swift and decisive
enforcement action against companies that engaged in slamming, cramming, and
misrepresentation. Today’s proposed forfeiture includes upward adjustments of $2 million that
reflect the seriousness of CTI’s apparent violations, as well as the fact that many of the
consumers appeared particularly vulnerable due to their age or disability.

-FCC-
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