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fcclogo NEWS

Federal Communications Commission
445 12th Street, S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20554
News media information 202 / 418-0500
Fax-On-Demand 202 / 418-2830
Internet: http://www.fcc.gov
TTY: 202/418-2555

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).

April 13, 2000


When I talk to consumers around the country, the one issue that raises the most volatile and emotional response is slamming. Consumers feel a real sense of violation when they are slammed. So we are putting a stop to it. Since 1995, the FCC has received over 80,000 slamming complaints. That is unacceptable--American consumers, from individuals to small businesses, are entitled to have their long-distance carrier of choice respected.

Today, we re-affirm our commitment to eliminating slamming through a zero tolerance program. The absolution rules and re-payment remedies contained in this order completely take the profit out of slamming. We had those remedies in place for a brief period of time before MCI WorldCom unfortunately went into court and had those rules stayed. But while those rules were in place, we saw that absolution works--slamming complaints dropped dramatically when it stopped being profitable.

Today's order also represents another important step in our consumer protection partnership with the states. I was very pleased to receive a letter from NARUC indicating that 35 states were interested in adjudicating slamming complaints. I know that more states will be stepping up to the plate as well.

While states will be the primary adjudicators of individual slamming complaints, slamming complaints will remain a top priority of this Commission's Enforcement Bureau. In addition, the Enforcement Bureau has been hard at work, fining slammers to the tune of over $4.3 million dollars in just the past few months and entering into consent decrees to prevent future wrong-doing.

Consumers need to know which carriers are the worst violators. Therefore, I have asked our Consumer Information Bureau to compile a list of slammers and to make that list publicly available so that consumers will know the track record of all long distance carriers and be able to make their choices accordingly.

- FCC -