In a separate action, the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has levied a $7.6 million fine against an Alpharetta, GA telephone company for violations of Commission rules against “slamming” (changing consumers’ long distance carriers without authorization) and “cramming” (placing unauthorized charges for services on consumer bills).
According to a Forfeiture Order issued by the Commission in March 2015, the company, Optic Internet Protocol, Inc., changed the long-distance carriers of 10 consumers without authorization, and placed unauthorized charges on the bills of 71 consumers. The company also reportedly relied on fabricated audio recordings as proof that consumers had authorized the changes or charges.
The Commission’s forfeiture action against Optic Internet Protocol followed a review by the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau of more than 150 complaints against the company filed by consumers with the FCC, the Federal Trade Commission, state regulatory agencies and the Better Business Bureau.
In a press release announcing the Forfeiture Order against Optic, the Commission reports that it has taken 30 separate enforcement actions over the past five years in connection with slamming and cramming activities by telephone companies, resulting in more than $90 million in penalties and more than $200 million in consumer refunds.