FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
News media information 202/418-0500
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE|
April 7, 2003
NEWS MEDIA CONTACT:|
John Winston (202) 418-7450
Washington, D.C. - Today the Federal Communications Commission announced it has decided to hold a hearing to determine whether to revoke the common carrier operating authority of affiliated long distance companies NOS Communications, Inc. (NOS), Affinity Network Incorporated (ANI), and NOSVA Limited Partnership (NOSVA) (collectively, the Companies), for apparently engaging in a deceptive marketing campaign designed to induce former customers to authorize switches back to the Companies' services based on misleading information.
An Enforcement Bureau investigation uncovered evidence that the Companies appear to have had a practice of calling former customers, misrepresenting that their lines had not been completely switched to their new preferred carriers, and threatening service disruption if the customers did not sign allegedly temporary Letters of Authorization to keep their services running until the switches could be completed. The Commission found that this scheme appears to be an unjust and unreasonable practice in violation of section 201 of the Communications Act.
The Commission determined that, due to the egregious nature of the Companies' apparently unlawful activities, the Companies must show cause as to why an order to cease and desist from the provision of any interstate common carrier services without the prior consent of the Commission should not be issued. The hearing will also determine whether the Commission should impose a monetary forfeiture against the Companies, and the amount of any such fine. The date of the hearing will be established in a forthcoming order from the Administrative Law Judge assigned to the case.
NOS is a Maryland corporation with its principal place of business in Rockville, Maryland; ANI is a California corporation with its principal place of business in Las Vegas, Nevada; and NOSVA is a Maryland corporation with its principal offices in Bethesda, Maryland.
Action by the Commission April 2, 2003, by Order to Show Cause and Notice of Opportunity for Hearing (FCC 03-75). Chairman Powell; Commissioners Abernathy, Copps, Martin and Adelstein.
File No. EB-02-TC-119
Enforcement Bureau Contacts: John Winston at (202) 418-7450 or Donna Cyrus at 418-7325.