Do You Know Your Telephone Service Provider?
What is Slamming?
“Slamming” is the illegal practice of switching a consumer’s traditional wireline telephone company for local or long distance service without permission. Most people have heard satires of the common telemarketing scheme: “Are you satisfied with your long-distance phone provider?” This seemingly comical reference comes from the prevalence of slamming after the deregulation of the telecommunication industry in the 1980s. “Slammers” have found ways to switch your service provider for either local, long-distance, or local toll services from the service you’ve chosen to another service without your consent or authorization. As a consumer, you are entitled to the right to chose your service provider and not switch providers unless you chose.
To protect yourself from slamming, it’s important that you:
- Understand what slamming is.
- Read the fine print of your phone service bills and any marketing material you receive from telecommunication providers.
- Do not sign anything without completely reading.
- Beware of imposters posing as representatives from your current service provider.
- Know your rights if you are slammed.
What if I’ve Been Slammed?
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) prohibits carriers from changing a subscriber’s selection of a service provider without permission. If you’ve been slammed, first call your attorney.
- Call your local phone company and ask to be switched back to your preferred phone carrier.
- Call the phone company that slammed you and have them remove the charges incurred within the 30 days of the slam.
- Keep records of the employees’ names at each company you dealt with to resolve your complaint.
- Notify your state public service or public utility commission.
- Contact an experienced consumer rights’ attorney.
Remedies Available to You
Federal law states that any telecommunications carrier that violates procedure is liable to the subscriber for all extra charges paid by the subscriber after the illegal “slamming” occurred. The subscriber is also permitted to switch back for free. Slammed subscribers are not required to pay for the first 30 days of the slammer’s service. After 30 days, you will be charged your original service provider’s rates. Slamming can be an inconvenient disrupting to your telephone service.
Contact A Legal Representative
If you have been slammed, contact us online today or call 866-726-1092 to speak to an attorney regarding your rights as a consumer.