The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has proposed a fine of nearly $30 million against a consortium of long distance carriers for illegally switching the designated long distance carriers of consumers with Hispanic surnames.
According to a Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture issued by the Commission in February 2016, telemarketers working for related carriers OneLink Communications, TeleDias Communications, TeleUno and Cytel illegally switch the long distance carriers of subscribers without their authorization (a practice known as “slamming”), and then billed those subscribers for unauthorized charges (“cramming”). Both actions are a violation of Section 258 of the Federal Communications Act.
The FCC reports that over 140 consumers filed complaints with the agency in connection with illegal actions by the OneLink consortium. In some cases, consumers alleged that the companies’ telemarketers pretended to be calling from the U.S. postal service in order to obtain the information necessary to create fake consumer authorization recordings. In other instances, the company allegedly impersonated consumers to create false authorization recordings.
Aside from slamming and cramming activities, the FCC also alleges that the companies provided false and misleading information to FCC officials investigating the consumer complaints.
Read the complete text of the Commission’s Notice of Apparent Liability against long distance carriers for illegally switching the designated long distance carriers of consumers with Hispanic surnames.