FCC proposes $1 million fine for slamming

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has proposed a fine of more than a $1 million against a Florida-based telecommunications firm that allegedly changed the preferred long-distance telecommunications service of a group of consumers without authorization, a practice known as “slamming.”

In a Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture issued in August 2012, the Commission proposed a fine of $1,108,000 for LDC Telecommunications of Clearwater, FL for switching telephone service of 27 consumers without authorization. The Commission’s action in this case caps a nearly four year process, during which the Commission’s Consumer & Government Affairs Bureau sent LDC 44 separate complaints from consumers who claimed that their long-distance phone service was switched without their authorization.

Section 258 of the federal Communications Act prohibits carriers from changing a subscriber’s selection of telephone service providers without their explicit permission. The Commission’s forfeiture guidelines have established a base forfeiture amount of $40,000 for each instance of slamming, resulting in a proposed forfeiture of $1,080,000 for LDC. In addition, the Commission proposed an additional forfeiture of $28,000 for LDC’s failure to respond to seven separate communications from the Commission related to individual slamming complaints that fell within the one year statute of limitations.

Read the complete text of the Commission’s Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture against LDC Telecommunications.