12.17.1998Corporate

Bell Atlantic Responds to FCC Decision to Increase Slamming Penalties


Bell Atlantic Responds to FCC Decision to Increase Slamming Penalties

Slamming Part of Pattern of Bad Behavior by Long Distance Companies


December 17, 1998





Media
contact:

Harry Mitchell,
304-344-7562


BACKGROUND -- The Federal Communications Commission today decided to
take additional punitive steps against companies who change customers' long
distance carrier without their authorization, a process known as "slamming.."
Bell Atlantic issued the following statement in response to the FCC's action.:


"The long distance industry has created this problem -- and brought on today's
stiff action -- through its own irresponsible behavior. Fully 70 percent of
complaints to the FCC from Bell Atlantic's mid-Atlantic and Northeast service
area are from customers who have been slammed by these long distance bad
actors.


"Slamming is just part of an ongoing pattern of callous disregard for customers by
long distance companies. Other examples include hidden charges, deceptive
pricing and refusal to pass on billions of dollars in access charge reductions to real
customers.


"Such actions reinforce the need for Bell Atlantic to be able to compete head-to-
head with these long distance companies."