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This is an unofficial announcement of Commission action. Release of the full text of a Commission order constitutes official action. See MCI v. FCC. 515 F 2d 385 (D.C. Circ 1974).
MINIMUM RATE PRICING TO PAY $1.2 MILLION TO U.S. TREASURY AND CHANGE ITS BUSINESS PRACTICES;
MRP Enters Into Consent Decree To Resolve Slamming Complaints
In a Consent Decree released today, Minimum Rate Pricing, Inc. (MRP) adopted changes to its business practices and agreed to make voluntary payments to the U.S. Treasury that total $1.2 million. Today's Consent Decree, which contains the largest voluntary payment in any FCC slamming-related consent settlement to date, details measures MRP will take to protect consumers against having their long distance carrier changed without their authorization, a practice known as "slamming."
Today's Consent Decree is the product of an investigation conducted this year by FCC
staff concerning numerous recent slamming allegations against MRP. In October 1997, the
Common Carrier Bureau proposed an $80,000 forfeiture against MRP for apparently substituting
itself as the long distance company for two consumers without their authorization. After the
affected customers returned to their preferred carriers, MRP then apparently took action to switch
the customers back to MRP based upon automatic switch-back provisions in its tariff.
MRP subsequently eliminated its switch-back provisions, but the Bureau continued its investigation into other slamming-related issues concerning MRP's business and marketing practices. Today's Consent Decree culminates the FCC's investigation. MRP, whose principal place of business is Bloomfield, New Jersey, did not admit any wrongdoing in this proceeding.
In addition to MRP's $1.2 million payment to the U.S. Treasury, highlights of the Consent Decree include the following:
Beginning today, the Consent Decree will be in effect for three years. If MRP violates the terms of the Consent Decree or any other FCC rules, the Commission may initiate an immediate hearing to revoke MRP's operating authority.
Action by the Common Carrier Bureau, December 16, 1998