The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has ordered a California-based long distance carrier to pay $1.44 million in financial penalties for illegally switching the designated long distance carriers for a number of small businesses and consumers.
According to a Forfeiture Order issued by the Commission in November 2015, telemarketers working for the carrier Preferred Long Distance, Inc. made calls to subscribers of other long distance carriers and pretended to be representatives of those carriers. The telemarketers then switched subscribers’ long distance carrier to Preferred Long Distance without proper authorization from the subscribers.
The practice of switching long distance providers without authorization, known as slamming, is a violation of Section 258 of the Communications Act. In this case, the Commission received complaints from at least 14 different consumers who alleged that their long-distance service was switched without authorization.