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Slamming Policy


Have you been slammed? Find out how to file a complaint with either the FCC or your own state.

Slamming is the unlawful practice of changing a subscriber's selection of a provider of telephone service without that subscriber's knowledge or permission.

The passage of Section 258 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 significantly expanded the Commission's existing authority to deter and punish slamming. Section 258(a) provides that telecommunications carriers must adhere to these authorization and verification procedures in submitting and executing carrier changes. Section 258(b) provides that a carrier that violates these procedures and then collects charges from a subscriber shall be liable to the subscriber's properly-authorized carrier for all charges collected.

In December 1998, the Commission implemented Section 258 in a Second Report and Order. The Commission adopted aggressive liability rules designed to take the profit out of slamming, broadened the scope of its slamming rules to encompass all wireline carriers, and set more rigorous standards for authorizing and verifying preferred carrier changes. Most of the expanded slamming rules took effect in April 1999, but the DC Circuit stayed the slamming liability rules pending reconsideration. In a First Order on Reconsideration, released in May 2000, the Commission revised the slamming liability rules and permitted states (including Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia) to "opt in" to administer the revised rules. In June 2000, the court lifted its stay. The revised slamming liability rules took effect in November 2000.

In August 2000, the Commission issued a Third Report and Order and Second Order on Reconsideration that amended the slamming rules to further improve the carrier change process for consumers and carriers. For example, the Commission permitted carriers to use Internet Letters of Agency (Internet LOAs) in a manner consistent with the Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act. The Commission also expanded the existing registration requirement on carriers providing interstate telecommunications service to include addtional facts that will assist enforcement efforts. In a subsequent Order, released in February 2001, the Commission refined the reporting and registration requirements. The rule amendments adopted in both orders took effect in April 2001.

In May 2001, the Commission issued an order adopting streamlined procedures for the carrier-to-carrier sale or transfer of subscriber bases in compliance with Section 258 and the FCC's rules. The new rule provision, adopted as part of the Commission's biennial regulatory review effort, lightens administrative burdens by eliminating the need to obtain a waiver, while continuing to protect consumers. It took effect on June 21, 2001.

On March 17, 2003, the Commission discontinued the requirement that carriers file FCC Form 478 (FCC 03-42). Accordingly, carriers need not file any further FCC Form 478s, including the Form 478 filing that would have been due August 15, 2003.

Major Slamming Orders and Notices

01/09/08
Policies and Rules Concerning Unauthorized Changes of Consumers' Long Distance Carriers.
Fourth Report and Order: Word | Acrobat

01/04/08
Policies and Rules Concerning Unauthorized Changes of Consumers' Long Distance Carriers.
Order: Word | Acrobat

06/22/07
Verizon California, Inc. Petition for Waiver.
Order: Word | Acrobat

06/09/2005
Implementation of the Subscriber Carrier Selection Changes Provisions of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 / Policies and Rules Concerning Unauthorized Changes of Consumers' Long Distance Carriers. DA No. 05-1618.
Declaratory Ruling: Word | Acrobat

11/24/2004
Implementation of the Subscriber Carrier Selection Changes Provisions of the Telecommunications Act of 1996/Policies and Rules Concerning Unauthorized Changes of Consumers' Long Distance Carriers.
Order: Word | Acrobat
Adelstein Statement: Word | Acrobat
Martin Statement: Word | Acrobat

7/16/2004
2000 Biennial Review - Review of Policies and Rules Concerning Unauthorized Changes of Consumers' Long Distance Carriers, Implementation of the Subscriber Carrier Selection Changes Provisions of The Telecommunications Act of 1996. (Dkt No. 94-129, 00-257).
Order: Word | Acrobat
Adelstein Statement: Word | Acrobat

07/16/2004
The Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau Seeks Additional Information Regarding Certain Slamming Informal Complaints. DA No. 04-2154
Public Notice: Word | Acrobat

07/23/2003
Corrected Effective Date of Rules Adopted In Slamming Third Order on Reconsideration, DA No. 03-2407
Public Notice: Word | Acrobat

07/17/2003
Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau Announces Effective Date of Rules Adopted in Slamming Third Order on Reconsideration, DA No. 03-2358
Public Notice: Word | Acrobat

05/23/2003
Order, Clarified certain issues pertaining to the Third Order on Reconsideration and Second Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, FCC No. 03-116 Word | Acrobat

05/13/2003
Clarification of Effective Date of Requirements Contained in the Third Order on Reconsideration and Second Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, DA 03-1586
Public Notice: Word | Acrobat

04/24/2003
Dates Set For Comments in Slamming Rulemaking, Comments due June 2, 2003, Replies due June 17, 2003
News Release: Word | Acrobat

03/17/2003
Third Order on Reconsideration and Second Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, Implementation of the Subscriber Carrier Selection Changes Provisions of the Telecommunications Act of 1996/Policies and Rules Concerning Unauthorized Changes of Consumers' Long Distance Carriers, FCC 03-42 Word | Acrobat

Consumer Protections Against Slamming Abuses Affirmed; Further Verification Requirements Proposed
News Release: Word | Acrobat

05/15/2001
First Report and Order in CC Docket No. 00-257 and Fourth Report and Order in CC Docket No. 94-129, 2000 Biennial Review - Review of Policies and Rules Concerning Unauthorized Changes of Consumers Long Distance Carriers, FCC 01-156 Word | Acrobat

02/22/2001
Order, In the Matter of Implementation of the Subscriber Carrier Selection Changes Provisions of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, FCC 01-67 Word | Acrobat

01/18/2001
Third Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, 2000 Biennial Regulatory Review - Review of Policies and Rules Concerning Unauthorized Changes of Consumers Long Distance Carriers, FCC 00-451 Word | Acrobat

09/26/2000
Erratum, Third Report and Order and Second Order on Reconsideration, Implementation of the Subscriber Carrier Selection Changes Provisions of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, FCC 00-255 Word | Acrobat

08/15/2000
Third Report and Order and Second Order on Reconsideration, Implementation of the Subscriber Carrier Selection Changes Provisions of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, FCC 00-255 Word | Acrobat

05/03/2000
First Order on Reconsideration, Implementation of the Subscriber Carrier Selection Changes Provisions of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 Policies and Rules Concerning Unauthorized Changes of Consumers Long Distance Carriers, FCC 00-135 Word | Acrobat

12/23/1998
Second Report and Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, Implementation of the Subscriber Carrier Selection Changes Provisions of the Telecommunications Act of 1996/Policies and Rules Concerning Uunauthorized Changes of Consumers' Long Distance Carriers, FCC 98-334

12/17/1998
FCC Adopts New Anti-Slamming Rules and Unveils Further Measures to Protect Consumers From Phone Fraud; Slammed Consumers Relieved From Paying Phone Charges, FCC 98-334
News Release: Word | Acrobat




last reviewed/updated on 09/28/09  


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