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                           Before the
                    Washington, D. C.  20554

In the Matter of                )
                                )  File No. EB-00-TC-164
America's Tele-Network Corp.    )
Apparent Liability for Forfeiture  )    NAL/Acct. No. 

                            AND ORDER

Adopted:  March 12, 2001                Released: March 13, 2001

By the Commission:
                        I.  INTRODUCTION

     1.   In this Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture 
(NAL),1 we find that America's Tele-Network Corporation (ATNC) 
apparently willfully or repeatedly violated section 258 of the 
Communications Act of 1934, as amended (the Act),2 as well as 
Commission rules and orders, by changing the designated preferred 
carriers of 16 consumers without their authorization, a practice 
commonly know as ``slamming.''  Based upon our review of the 
facts and circumstances surrounding the violations, we find ATNC 
apparently liable for a forfeiture in the amount of $1,020,000.

     2.   Last year, the Commission received 263 consumer 
complaints against ATNC. Commission staff investigated many of 
these allegations, directing ATNC to provide proof that it had 
verified the complainants' conversions3 in accordance with the 
Commission's rules.  Based on the complaints received and the 
documents and tapes ATNC has provided, we conclude that ATNC has 
apparently violated section 258 of the Act and sections 64.1100 
and 64.1150 of the Commission's rules.4  Accordingly, we propose 
a fine of $40,000 for each of 17 apparent violations represented 
by the 16 consumer complaints listed in Appendix A, for a 
forfeiture of $680,000.  We further propose increasing the fine 
by 50% based upon ATNC's apparent pattern of intentional and 
egregious misconduct, for a total proposed forfeiture of 

                         II.  BACKGROUND

     3.   ATNC is a nationwide reseller of long distance 
telephone services5 and is headquartered in Roswell, Georgia.6  
Counsel for ATNC states that the company uses telemarketers to 
solicit consumer change request orders7 and then confirms those 
authorizations via an automated system8 operated by an 
independent third party.9  Apparently, ATNC's telemarketer dials 
a toll-free number to connect the consumer to the verifier's 
automated voice-response unit (VRU), which records the consumer's 
purported verification.  Counsel states that ATNC connects the 
consumer to the verifier ``right after the telemarketing call to 
ensure that the change is voluntary and authorized.''10  The ATNC 
telemarketer remains on the line while the consumer responds to 
the VRU prompts.11      4.   All of the complaints forming the basis of this NAL 
contain allegations that ATNC did not verify the purported 
authorizations.  For illustrative purposes, we profile three 
complaints that may shed light on ATNC's marketing and 
verification procedures.  On May 11, 2000, Amber Baxter filed a 
complaint with the Commission, alleging that ATNC switched her 
preferred long distance provider from AT&T to ATNC without 
authorization.12  In support of that complaint, Ms. Baxter also 
filed a declaration, which stated in part:

          On April 6, 2000, I received a telephone call from a 
          telemarketer claiming to be with AT&T.  [The 
          telemarketer] said her name was Kacey Williams and knew 
          that I had the AT&T 7-cent plan.  [Ms. Williams] said 
          that some customers had been over-billed and that she 
          was going to send me a $100 check courtesy of AT&T.  I 
          became very suspicious and asked again if she was with 
          AT&T.  [Ms. Williams] confirmed this several times.  I 
          questioned Kacey why AT&T wouldn't credit my phone 
          bill.  She said that this was the reason for the call.  
          She said that they had to `simply' confirm my name and 
          address with a third party verifier in order to send 
          the check.  I answered the verifier by saying ``yes'' 
          to name and address, then confirmed by giving my 
          birthda[te].  The third party verifier was a recording.  
          At no time did I give ATNC permission, verbal or 
          otherwise, to change my long distance service.  I hung 
          up and immediately called AT&T.  The AT&T 
          representative informed me that they were not mailing 
          out any such checks.

          When I received my May telephone bill, I realized that 
          my long distance service had been changed to ATNC 
          without my permission. . . .  On May 12, 2000, I called 
          ATNC and spoke with Desiree Jones.  She insisted that I 
          had knowledge of the switch . . . because I had talked 
          with a third party verifier.  Ms. Jones also denied 
          that ATNC had misrepresented themselves as AT&T.  I 
          told Ms. Jones that 
          I was going to file a complaint.  She responded `fine, 
          we have a recording where you agree to be switched.'13

     5.   On September 12, 2000, Jose Valcarcel filed a complaint 
with the Commission alleging that ATNC had converted his long 
distance carrier from AT&T to ATNC.  In support of the complaint, 
Mr. Valcarcel subsequently filed a declaration, in which he 
states that an ATN telemarketer called him on June 28, 2000, 
offering to switch his long distance telephone account from AT&T 
to ATNC in exchange for $100.14  Mr. Valcarcel states he declined 
the offer.  On August 4, 2000, however, he received a telephone 
bill from ATNC for $285.37.  Upon learning of the conversion, Mr. 
Valcarcel contacted ATNC to advise them that he had not 
authorized the change.15  According to Mr. Valcarcel, ATNC stated 
that he had authorized the switch, and they played a recording of 
his conversation with a telemarketer.  While Mr. Valcarcel 
concedes that he ``had answered `yes' to a few questions'' (i.e. 
his date of birth and whether he was a legal resident of Key 
Largo), he avers that he did not authorize ATNC to change his 
long distance provider.16

     6.   On November 8, 2000, David Womack filed a complaint 
with the Commission alleging that ATNC had changed his preferred 
long distance provider not once, but twice, during the fall of 
2000.  In support of his complaint, Mr. Womack filed a 
declaration with the Commission on February 26, 2001, in which he 
describes the circumstances surrounding the two conversions.17  
Mr. Womack states that he first learned of the initial conversion 
sometime in late September 2000, when his preferred long distance 
carrier, MCI, called to find out why he had changed carriers.  
Mr. Womack states that he didn't recall speaking with any ATNC 
telemarketers and was thus unaware that his designated long 
distance carrier had been changed.  After speaking with MCI about 
this unauthorized conversion, Mr. Womack directed his local 
carrier, Verizon, to change his service back to MCI.18  Mr. 
Womack eventually received an invoice from ATNC but, despite 
numerous attempts to contact the carrier, never reached anyone.  
This scenario recurred at the beginning of November, when Mr. 
Womack received another call from MCI asking why he had changed 
carriers.  Mr. Womack again contacted Verizon, who restored MCI 
as his preferred carrier on November 8, 2000.19

     7.   Based on the facts alleged in these and the other 13 
     complaints at issue, staff
forwarded to ATNC the names and phone numbers of the 
complainants20 and directed ATNC to provide sworn, written 
responses to general inquiries regarding ATNC's marketing and 
verification procedures and to provide specific evidence 
pertaining to the disputed verifications.  In response, ATNC 
provided a copy of its verification script and 13 audio tape 
recordings representing ``the entire recorded conversation 
between the telemarketing agent and the consumer.''21  (ATNC 
states that it is unable to forward the verification tape for Mr. 
Womack22 and that the tapes for Ms. Ayersmann and Ms.Park were 
damaged. 23)  ATNC also described two promotions it had offered 
during the relevant time period and provided a copy of the 
marketing script its telemarketers had used.24  One promotion 
offered consumers ``a $100 check for those persons who became an 
ATN customer and utilized ATN's services for a period of at least 
180 days.''25  The other promotion offered a calling card with 
100 free minutes of usage, which was enclosed in ATNC's welcome 

                        III.  DISCUSSION

     8.   Section 258 of the Act makes it unlawful for any 
telecommunications carrier to "submit or execute a change in a 
subscriber's selection of a provider of telephone exchange 
service or telephone toll service except in accordance with such 
procedures as the Commission shall prescribe."27  The rules the 
Commission adopted prescribe that no carrier ``shall submit a 
change on the behalf of a subscriber . . . prior to obtaining: 
(i) Authorization from the subscriber and (ii) Verification of 
that authorization in accordance with the procedures prescribed 
in  64.1150.''28  The Commission's rules thus expressly bar 
telecommunications providers from changing a consumer's preferred 
carrier without first obtaining the consumer's consent, and then 
confirming that consent.

     9.   The Commission's rules provide some latitude in the 
methods carriers can use to obtain consumer authorizations and 
verifications of carrier change requests.  For example, a carrier 
may elect to use telemarketing representatives or direct face-to-
face contact to solicit consumer authorizations for carrier-
change requests.  The carrier can then elect to verify that 
authorization through one of three options, including the use of 
an independent third party.  There is no latitude, however, in 
the requirement that carriers obtain both authorization and 
verification prior to submitting a carrier change request.  Thus, 
for those carriers who use an independent third party to verify 
the consumer's authorization, our rules require that ``[t]he 
content of the verification . . . include clear and conspicuous 
confirmation that the subscriber has authorized a preferred 
carrier change.''29  The rules are similarly clear that: 

     [w]here a carrier is selling more than one type of 
     telecommunications service [e.g., local exchange service, 
     regional toll, or interstate long distance], . . . that 
     carrier must obtain separate authorization from the 
     subscriber for each service sold, although the 
     authorizations may be made within the same solicitation.  
     Each authorization must be verified separately from any 
     other authorizations obtained in the same solicitation . . . 
     in accordance the verification procedures prescribed.''30

Carriers must also ``maintain and preserve records of 
verification of subscriber authorization for a minimum period of 
two years after obtaining such verification.''31

     10.  All of the consumers who filed the complaints that form 
the basis of this NAL state unequivocally that they did not 
authorize ATNC to change their designated, preferred long 
distance providers.32  ATNC does not dispute that it changed the 
complainants' preferred carrier selections.  ATNC does, however, 
contend that the complainants authorized the change requests and 
that ATNC verified the authorizations.  Specifically, ATNC 
asserts that its verification procedures comply with our rules 
because they produce ``clear and conspicuous confirmation'' that 
the consumer has authorized a carrier change.  As discussed 
below, we disagree.

A.  Verification Script

     11.  Counsel for ATNC confirm that the following 
verification script33 was the only script used during the period 
January 1, 2000 through October 7, 2000, the date ATNC states it 
voluntarily stopped marketing its services.34  The script is 
published in its entirety [for clarity, we have numbered each 

                         Customer Rep Dials FCG's 800#
                         Rep Enters 5 digit Room & Rep #

               Bring customer online, then press ``1'' to begin 

          [1.] Automated message: Thank you for choosing 
          America's Tele-Network as your long distance and local 
          provider.  In addition to the $100.00 check awarded 
          once you have been online for 180 days, you have been 
          selected to receive a free bonus gift . . . a 100 
          minute pre-paid calling card!  Please answer the 
          following questions. When finished with each of your 
          responses, press one to continue or nine to re-record.

          [2.] At the tone, please say your name and address 
          clearly.  Spell your name if necessary.

          [3.] Are you authorized to choose America's Tele-
          Network as your long distance and local long distance 
          provider?  Please say ``YES'' at the tone.

          [4.] To confirm your identity, at the tone please state 
          your Date of Birth or your mother's maiden name.

          [5.] Your Welcome package will be sent to you, which 
          will include any information you need.35

     12.  None of the 13 tapes ATNC submitted to Commission staff 
included the introduction thanking the customer for selecting 
ATNC and advising the consumer of the disclaimers associated with 
receiving the $100 check (clause 1).  Instead, 12 of the tapes 
begin at the point where the voice-response unit asks for the 
consumer's name and address (clause 2).  Twelve of these 13 tapes 
record an affirmative response to the question ``are you 
authorized to select'' ATNC (clause 3).  The two tapes for Ms. 
Garcia and Ms. Pastrana, however, indicate consumer confusion 
regarding that question.  Ms. Garcia replied to the question 
``are your authorized to select'' ATNC by stating in Spanish ``I 
do not know what that is.''  The ATNC agent responded by stating 
in English the initials ``A.T.N.,'' and then stating in Spanish: 
``I believe that they translate it in Spanish `A.T.N.''' Ms. 
Garcia then responded yes.  There was similar confusion regarding 
the purported verification of Lisette Pastrana's account.  
According to the tape, ATNC spoke with Lisette Pastrana's mother, 
Adelaida.  In response to the question ``are you authorized to 
select'' ATNC, Adelaida started to provide her name but then 
changed her mind and provided her daughter's name, Lisette 
Pastrana.  When asked for the zip code, Adelaida stated ``Let me 
see. Let me find a letter because you know. . . .''  The ATNC 
agent again asked whether Adelaida was authorized to select ATNC, 
and the tape contained an abrupt ``yes.''     13.  The remaining tape differs from the others in that the 
tape begins with a male ATNC agent questioning the consumer, Ms. 
Hovieda.  In that purported verification, the agent begins the 
conversation by stating ``O.K., say your name the way you want it 
on the check.''  Ms. Hovieda provided her name and address, and 
then the tape cuts to the automated VRU question ``are you 
authorized to select'' ATNC (clause 3).  No response to this 
question was recorded.  

     14.  In 1991, when the Commission first proposed the option 
of using third-party verification, we published a sample 
verification script.36  The script includes the following 
relevant disclosures and questions to be read to the consumer: 
``Hello, my name is _______ from _____, an independent 
verification company.  I'm calling to confirm your order for 
[carrier name] long distance service.'' ``Did you . . . recently 
receive a call asking you to select [carrier name] as your long 
distance company?''  ``I'd like to confirm that you have selected 
[carrier name] to carry long distance calls.''  ``I will now 
process the order.''37  The sample script thus provides a model 
of what the Commission deemed acceptable verification language: 
the verifier states that she is calling to confirm an order for 
``XYZ'' company's long distance service and, more importantly, 
expressly asks the consumer to verify that statement.

     15.  When compared to this standard, ATNC's verification 
script is clearly deficient.  First, the statement ``thank you 
for choosing America's Tele-Network as your long distance and 
local provider'' merely conveys ATNC'S hope or presumption that 
the consumer has authorized a change.  This clause does not 
directly elicit the consumer's confirmation that he actually 
intends to authorize a carrier change.  Second, the clause ``are 
you authorized to choose America's Tele-Network as your long 
distance provider'' merely elicits confirmation that ATNC is 
speaking to someone with authority to request a change, not 
whether the consumer authorizes a change. 38 Furthermore, the 
script directs the consumer to respond ``yes'' to that question.  
Finally, the script does not elicit two separate confirmations 
for a change in local long distance and interstate long distance, 
as required by our rules.39  In short, the verification script is 
void of any ``clear and conspicuous confirmation,'' i.e., an 
unambiguous, definitive, direct response from the consumer that 
he or she is confirming a request that ATNC provide telephone 
service.  Such basic deficiencies raise serious questions as to 
the legitimacy of ATNC's purportedly verified change orders.  
These deficiencies are made even more serious by ATNC's apparent 
failure to follow its defective script.

B. ATNC's Verification Process

     16.  ATNC contends that one must look at the ``net 
impression'' conveyed by both the verification and telemarketing 
scripts to determine whether a reasonable consumer would 
understand the nature of the solicitation.40  According to 
counsel, ``ATN finds it improbable that 
any reasonable person would not understand the intentions of ATN 
and what product they were selling,'' based on the language of 
both the verification and telemarketing scripts.41  

     17.  By invoking ``the intentions of ATN'' in defense of its 
verification process, ATNC demonstrates a fundamental 
misunderstanding of the purpose of the Commission's verification 
rules: to provide consumers with an opportunity, separate from 
the solicitation, to confirm the consumer's intent to authorize a 
change in telecommunications providers.  Our rules and orders are 
quite explicit that authorization and verification are two 
separate and distinct functions, not a continuous process as ATNC 
suggests.  To find otherwise would undermine the very rationale 
for requiring verification, which is to curb overzealous 
telemarketers from presuming a sale.  Our verification rules thus 
provide the consumer an additional opportunity to comprehend the 
import of the oral offer and to confirm his or her request to 
change carriers, if such change was intended. 

               18.  Moreover, it is anything but clear that by 
     completing ATNC's verification process consumers would 
     understand that they have changed carriers.  For example, 
     the agent who spoke with Ms. Hovieda indicated that he 
     wanted her name and address in order to send her a check, 
     not to establish an ATNC billing account.  Ms. Hovieda duly 
     provided her name and address.  Notably, she did not respond 
     to the oblique inquiry into whether she was authorized to 
     select ATNC.  The ``net impression'' conveyed to us by Ms. 
     Hovieda's recorded conversation is that she expected to 
     receive a check, not authorize a carrier change.
     19.  Ms. Amber Baxter's complaint corroborates our 
impression that ATNC did not make clear the nature of the call.  
According to Ms. Baxter, she believed she was providing her name 
and address in order to receive a refund check, not to confirm an 
authorization to change carriers.  The tape ATNC provided did not 
contain the preamble thanking the consumer for selecting ATNC and 
advising her that she had to remain on-line for 180 days before 
receiving the check.  We similarly note the call to Ms. Garcia 
and her evident confusion regarding the meaning of the initials 
``ATN'' in response to the question ``are your authorized to 
choose America's Tele-Network as your long distance and local 
provider.''  ATNC likewise failed to obtain authorization to 
convert Lisette Pastrana's carrier.  Finally, ATNC did not 
provide any evidence to rebut the allegations of Ms. Ayermann, 
Ms. Park, and Mr. Womack, and the evidence ATNC did provide for 
the remaining complainants fails to demonstrate that ATNC 
obtained clear and conspicuous confirmation that the consumers 
authorized a carrier change.

                     IV.  FORFEITURE AMOUNT

     20.  Section 503(b) of the Communications Act authorizes the 
Commission to assess a forfeiture of up to $110,000 for each 
violation of the Act or of any rule, regulation, or order issued 
by the Commission under the Act.42  In exercising such authority, 
we are required to take into account "the nature, circumstances, 
extent, and gravity of the violation and, with respect to the 
violator, the degree of culpability, any history of prior 
offenses, ability to pay, and such other matters as justice may 
require."43  The Commission's forfeiture guidelines currently 
establish a standard forfeiture amount of $40,000 for violations 
of our rules and orders regarding unauthorized changes of 
preferred interexchange carriers. 44  These policies and 
guidelines, however, include upward adjustment criteria that 
warrant a higher forfeiture amount based on the particular facts 
and circumstances of the violation(s).45  These include the 
egregiousness of the misconduct, ability or inability to pay, 
whether the violation was intentional, whether substantial harm 
resulted from the violations, history of compliance with 
Commission requirements, whether the violator realized 
substantial economic gain from the misconduct, and whether the 
violation is repeated or continuous.46  As provided by the 
Commission's rules, the Commission and its staff retain the 
discretion to issue a higher or lower forfeiture, as permitted by 

     21.  On several occasions, the Commission has sternly warned 
carriers that it would take swift and decisive enforcement 
action, including the imposition of substantial monetary 
forfeitures, against any carrier found to have engaged in 
slamming. 48  In the instant case, the evidence before us 
indicates that ATNC has apparently willfully and repeatedly 
changed consumers' preferred telecommunications service providers 
without their consent.  ATNC's apparent intentional failure to 
verify the purported authorizations to switch the preferred 
carriers of the 16 consumers identified in this NAL convinces us 
that a significant forfeiture is warranted, notwithstanding ATNC' 
decision to cease marketing.  ATNC's verification script is, on 
its face, grossly deficient in that it does not elicit a ``clear 
and conspicuous'' confirmation that the consumer is authorizing a 
carrier change.  Nor does the script elicit separate verification 
from any other authorizations obtained in the same solicitation.  
ATNC could not provide proof that it had verified the disputed 
changes alleged by three of the complainants, one of whom states 
that ATNC slammed him twice (one incident occurring after the 
date ATNC represented it had ceased its marketing operations).  
As for the tapes ATNC did provide, two fail to establish that 
ATNC was speaking with the subscriber (the Hovieda and Pastrana 
tapes), and the remaining tapes demonstrate that ATNC's script 
failed to elicit a ``clear and conspicuous'' confirmation of the 
consumers' purported change requests, as required by our rules.

     22.  ATNC acknowledges that its ``fundamental problem and 
it's [sic] failure in doing business as a telecommunications 
service provider stem from a lack of obtaining quality personnel 
in the three most important parts of its business: (a) customer 
service; (b) marketing; and (c) MIS department.''49  We would add 
to this list an apparent failure to institute procedures that 
conform to Commission requirements.  The gross deficiencies of 
ATNC's verification process, coupled with its inability to 
produce clear evidence that it properly obtained and verified the 
carrier changes at issue, lead us to conclude that ATNC 
apparently intentionally and egregiously violated section 64.1100 
and 64.1150 of the Commission's rules and orders.  We thus find 
that the upward adjustment criterion related to intentional and 
egregious misconduct is applicable in this case.  We therefore 
propose applying the base forfeiture amount of $40,000 for each 
of the 17 apparent violations of section 258 of the Act and 
sections 64.1100 and 64.1150 of the Commission's rules, or 
$680,000, and increasing this amount by 50%, for a total proposed 
forfeiture of $1,020,000.  ATNC will have the opportunity to 
submit further evidence and arguments in response to this NAL to 
show that no forfeiture should be imposed or that some lesser 
amount should be assessed.50

   23.    We note that ATNC has represented to the Commission 
that it has ceased all telemarketing activity.  If and when ATNC 
resumes such activity, we direct the company to inform the 
Commission in advance and to file with the Commission a 
compliance plan that details actions ATNC will take and 
procedures it will establish and follow to comply with the Act 
and the Commission's rules and orders.  The Commission will 
monitor closely the level and content of consumer complaints to 
determine whether the changes in ATNC's practices result in fewer 
unauthorized carrier changes.  Continued violations of our rules 
could result in issuance of a show cause order why ATNC's 
operating authority should not be revoked.51  


     24.  We have determined that America's Tele-Network Corp has 
apparently violated section 258 of the Act and the Commission's 
preferred carrier change rules and orders52 by converting the 
preferred telephone service providers of 16 consumers identified 
in the complaints discussed above, on the dates and in the manner 
described herein.  We have further determined that America's 
Tele-Network Corp is apparently liable for a forfeiture in the 
amount of $40,000 for each of 17 apparent violations.  ATNC's 
apparent intentional and repeated misconduct represents a gross 
dereliction of its verification obligations; accordingly, we 
propose increasing the forfeiture by 50%, resulting in a total 
proposed forfeiture of $1,020,000.

     25.  Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED, pursuant to section 503(b) 
of Communications Act of 1934, as amended, 47 U.S.C.  503(b), 
section 1.80 of the Commission's rules, 47 C.F.R.  1.80, that 
America's Tele-Network Corp IS HEREBY NOTIFIED of an Apparent 
Liability for Forfeiture in the amount of $1,020,000 for willful 
or repeated violations of section 258 of the Act53 and the 
Commission's preferred carrier change rules and orders as 
described in the paragraphs above.54

     26.  IT IS FURTHER ORDERED, pursuant to section 1.80 of the 
Commission's rules, 47 C.F.R.  1.80, that within thirty (30) 
days of the release of this Notice, America's Tele-Network Corp. 
SHALL PAY the full amount of the proposed forfeiture55 OR SHALL 
FILE a response showing why the proposed forfeiture should not be 
imposed or should be reduced.

               27.  IT IS FURTHER ORDERED, pursuant to sections 
     4(i) and 218 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, 
     47 U.S.C.  154(i), 218, that, in the event that America's 
     Tele-Network Corp engages in any telemarketing activity 
     after the date of issuance of this Notice, it shall inform 
     the Commission in advance and SHALL FILE with the 
     Commission, within thirty (30) days of engaging in such 
     activity, a compliance plan detailing the actions America's 
     Tele-Network Corp will take and the procedures it will 
     establish to ensure compliance with section 258 of the Act 
     and the Commission's rules and orders relating to preferred 
     carrier changes.  The compliance plan shall set forth the 
     revisions America's Tele-Network Corp shall make to bring 
     its marketing and verification scripts into compliance with 
     the Act and the Commission's preferred carrier change rules 
     and orders.  
     28.  IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that a copy of this Notice of 
Apparent Liability for Forfeiture and Order SHALL BE SENT by 
certified mail to America's Tele-Network Corp. in care of Charles 
H. Helein, Esq., The Helein Law Group, P.C., 8180 Greensboro 
Drive, Suite 700, McLean, Virginia 22102, and to 720 Hembree 
Place, Roswell, Georgia 30076, attention: John W. Little, 


                         Magalie Roman Salas
                         Secretary                           APPENDIX A
      COMPLAINANT                 LOCATION            CONVERSION 

     1 AYERSMANN, MARYANN          WEST VIRGINIA       05/27/00
       BAXTER, AMBER               DELAWARE            05/11/00
       BERGER, SUSAN               WASHINGTON, D.C.    07/26/00
       BRAUCKSIEKER, LEE           MISSOURI            03/16/00
       CHASE, JUDITH               RHODE ISLAND        05/27/00
       ESPINOZA, RUBIDIO           FLORIDA             03/14/00
       GARCIA, IMELDA              FLORIDA             03/14/00
       GATTO, CAROLINE             FLORIDA             03/16/00
       HOVIEDA, FARAH              FLORIDA             03/14/00
       PADRON, ERNESTO             FLORIDA             09/20/00
       PARK, SARITA                FLORIDA             04/27/00
       PASTRANA, LISETTE           FLORIDA             03/16/00
       RUIZ, MARIA                 FLORIDA             05/27/00
       VALCARCEL, JOSE             FLORIDA             07/26/00
       VALDEZ, ANA                 FLORIDA             03/23/00
       WOMACK, DAVID               NEW YORK            9/26/00 and 11/3/00

                           APPENDIX B

           Sample Script for Third Party Verification
           1991 Rulemaking, 6 FCC Rcd 1689, Appendix A

     Hello, my name is ___________ from __________, an 
independent verification company.  I'm calling to confirm your 
order for [IXC] long distance service.

Q1.  I'd like to confirm your name, address and telephone 
number(s).  IF AVAILABLE ON SCREEN, READ BACK.  Is that correct?  

Q1.A Did you or another person in your household recently receive 
a call asking you to select [IXC] as your long distance company?

Q2.  I'd to like confirm that you have decided to select [IXC] to 
carry long distance calls from this (these) telephone(s).  Is 
that correct?

Q3.  I'd like to confirm that you are an adult resident of this 
household.  Is that correct?  IF QUESTIONED BY CUSTOMER, MAY 

Q4.  I'd like to confirm that you were advised that the local 
telephone company may charge a fee for switching to [IC].  Is 

Q5.  Finally, to show that I've spoken to you, please give me the 
last four digits of your Social Security Number.  RECORD 

I will now process the order.  Thank you and goodbye.


     Would you like me to return you to an IXC representative?  


1    See 47 U.S.C.  503(b)(4)(A).  The Commission has authority 
under this section of the Act to assess a forfeiture penalty 
against a common carrier if the Commission determines that the 
carrier has "willfully or repeatedly" failed to comply with the 
provisions of the Act or with any rule, regulation, or order 
issued by the Commission under the Act.  For a violation to be 
willful, it need not be intentional.  Southern California 
Broadcasting Co., 6 FCC Rcd 4387 (1991).  See also 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, CC 
Docket No. 94-129, Second Report and Order, 14 FCC Rcd 1508, 1539 
(1998)(1998 Second Report and Order).

2    47 U.S.C.  258.  

3    Letters of Inquiry from Catherine Seidel, Chief, 
Telecommunications Consumers Division (TCD), Enforcement Bureau, 
Federal Communications Commission, to John W. Little, c/o Charles 
H. Helein, Esq., dated October 6, 2000 and October 27, 2000.

4    47 U.S.C.  258; 47 C.F.R.  64.1100, 64.1150.  Sections 
64.1100 and 64.1150 are now codified at section 64.1120.  65 FR 
47678, 47690 (2000).  Because the apparent violations occurred 
prior to November 28, 2000, the effective date of the revised 
rules, sections 64.1100 and 64.1150 were the applicable 
Commission rules in effect during the relevant time period.

5    Letter dated December 11, 2000, from Charles H. Helein, 
Esq., ATNC counsel, to Dana E. Leavitt, staff attorney, 
Telecommunications Consumers Division (TCD), Enforcement Bureau, 
Federal Communications Commission (December 11 Response).

6    Dun & Bradstreet report number 93-388-6905 dated January 29, 
2001.  According to the report, John W. Little started the 
company in 1995.

7    Response dated October 20, 2000 from Craig Riegler and Kirk 
Salzmann, The Helein Law Group, P.C., to Dana Leavitt, TCD 
(October 20 Response).

8    Id. at 2.

9    Id. at 10.  Counsel for ATNC states that Federal 
Communications Group, Inc., (F.C.G.), of Bellevue, Washington, 
provides verification services for ATNC.

10   October 20 Response at 10.

11   ATNC provided 13 audio tape recordings of the purported 
verifications for the following complainants: Ms. Baxter, Ms. 
Berger, Mr. Braucksieker, Ms. Chase, Mr. Espinoza, Ms. Garcia, 
Ms. Gatto, Ms. Hovieda, Mr. Padron, Ms. Pastrana, Ms. Ruiz, Mr. 
Valcarcel, and Ms. Valdez.  The tapes apparently have captured 
the voices of the complainants, various ATNC telemarketers, and a 
pre-recorded female ``voice'' associated with the voice-response 

12   Complaint dated May 11, 2000, from Amber Baxter.

13   Declaration dated February 14, 2001, from Amber Baxter.

14   Declaration dated February 5, 2001 from Jose Valcarcel.

15   Id. 

16   Id.  

17   Declaration dated February 26, 2001 from David Womack. 

18   In response to a letter of inquiry regarding changes to Mr. 
Womack's service, Verizon stated that it had processed carrier-
initiated requests to change his preferred long distance provider 
on September 26, 2000, and again on November 3, 2000.  See letter 
dated February 14, 2001, from Marie Breslin, Director, Federal 
Regulatory Affairs, Verizon, to Catherine Seidel, Chief, TCD.

19   Id. 

20   See note 4, supra. 

21   December 11 Response.

22   See Response dated February 12, 2001, from Kirk Salzmann, 
Esq., The Helein Law Group, P.C., to Dana E. Leavitt, TCD.

23   Response dated November 9, 2000, from Craig Riegler and Kirk 
Salzmann, The Helein Law Group, P.C., to Dana E. Leavitt, TCD 
(November 9 Response)..

24   October 20 Response at 10.

25   Id. 

26   Id.

27   47 U.S.C.  258.  

28   47 C.F.R.  64.1100(a)(1)(i); 64.1100(a)(1)(ii).  The 
Commission adopted these rules on December 17, 1998 in the Second 
Report and Order, and the rules became effective February 16, 
1999 (64 FR 7759).

29   47 C.F.R.  64.1150(d) (emphasis added).

30   47 C.F.R.  64.1100(b) (emphasis added).

31   47 C.F.R.  64.1100 (a)(1)(ii).

32   See Declarations filed by Amber Baxter (February 14, 2001), 
Jose Valcarcel (February 5, 2001) and David Womack (February 26, 
2001).  See also informal complaints filed by Maryann Ayersmann 
(June 27, 2000), Susan Berger (September 1, 2000), Diana Brake 
(April 25, 2000), Lee Braucksieker (May 30, 2000), Judith Chase 
(June 14, 2000), Rubidio Espinoza (August 21, 2000), Imdelda 
Garcia (May 5, 2000), Caroline Gatto (March 27, 2000), Farah 
Hovieda (May 19, 2000), Ernesto Padron (September 20, 2000), 
Sarita Park (June 8, 2000), Lisette Pastrana (May 16, 2000), 
Maria Ruiz (August 15, 2000), and Ana Valdez (August 23, 2000).

33   ATNC's president, John Little, drafted the verification 
script with the help of F.C.G. personnel.  See November 9 

34   Counsel for ATNC states that ``ATN stopped marketing its 
services [nationwide] on or about October 7, 2000.  In large 
part, this was due to the Enforcement Bureau's civil 
investigative demand (``CID'').  Prior, ATN had been stopping its 
marketing practices in those states where it knew it had a 
problem.''  December 11 Response. 

35   November 9 Response, Exhibit 1.

36   See American Telephone and Telegraph Company; Petition for 
Rulemaking, RM 7245, Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, 6 FCC Rcd 
1689, Appendix A (1991)(1991 Rulemaking).

37   See Appendix B for a copy of the entire sample script.

38   The Commission has previously determined that asking a 
consumer if he or she is ``authorized'' to request a carrier 
change does not produce clear and conspicuous confirmation that 
the consumer is actually authorizing a carrier change request.  
See Coleman Enterprises, Inc., d/b/a Local Long Distance, Inc., 
Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture, 14 FCC Rcd 13786 
(1999), where the Commission found purported verification 
language such as ``are you the authorized person to have Local 
Long Distance provide long distance service?'' deficient.  The 
Commission noted that ``at no time during the `verification' is 
the consumer directly asked if he or she is authorizing'' a 
carrier change, as mandated by the Commission's rules.  Moreover, 
ATNC was aware that its own verification script was problematic 
at least as early as August 18, 1998, when the Alabama Public 
Service Commission (PSC) issued a show cause hearing as to why 
ATNC's operating authority should not be revoked, based on 63 
slamming complaints.  ATNC and the PSC resolved the matter in 
November 1998, when the PSC adopted a settlement order based on 
ATNC's promise to, inter alia, submit all telemarketing and 
verification scripts to the PSC for review.  When the PSC 
continued to receive an excessive number of slamming complaints 
after adopting the settlement order, however, the PSC scheduled 
the show cause hearing for March 7, 2000.  The hearing was 
triggered by ATNC's apparent failure to comply with the terms of 
the settlement order, including an apparent failure to submit 
verification scripts to the PSC for review.  Testimony of Ray 
Paul Richards adduced at the hearing reveals that ATNC's 
verification asked Mr. Richards whether he was authorized to 
change carriers, but ``did not ask if he was actually authorizing 
the change of service to ATN.''  See Alabama Public Service 
Commission v. America's Tele-Network, Corp., Docket Number 25084, 
May 25, 2000.

39   47 C.F.R.  64.1100(b).

40   November 9 Response at 13.

41   Id.

42   47 U.S.C.  503(b)(2)(B); 47 C.F.R.  1.80.  The Commission 
recently amended its rules to increase the maximum penalties to 
account for inflation since the last adjustment of the penalty 
rates.  The new rates will apply to violations that occur after 
November 13, 2000.  In the Matter of Amendment of Section 1.80(b) 
of the Commission's Rules and Adjustment of Forfeiture Maxima to 
Reflect Inflation, Order, FCC-347 (rel. Sep. 19, 2000).

43   See 47 U.S.C.  503(b)(2)(D); see also Forfeiture Policy 
Statement, 12 FCC Rcd 17087.

44   Section 503(b)(2)(B) provides for forfeitures up to $100,000 
for each violation or a maximum of $1,000,000 for each continuing 
violation by common carriers or an applicant for any common 
carrier license, permit, certificate or similar instrument.  47 
U.S.C.  503(b)(2)(B).  The Debt Collection Improvement Act of 
1996 (DCIA), Pub L. No. 104-134,  31001, 110 Stat. 1321 (1996), 
requires, however, that civil monetary penalties assessed by the 
federal government be adjusted for inflation based on the formula 
outlined in the DCIA.  The current statutory maxima pursuant to 
Section 503(b)(2)(B) are $110,000 and $1,100,000 and have 
increased to $120,000 and $1,200,000 respectively, for violations 
occurring after November 13, 2000. See note 44, supra. 

45   See 47 U.S.C.  503(b)(2)(D).  See also The Commission's 
Forfeiture Policy Statement and Amendment of Section 1.80 of the 
Commission's Rules, 12 FCC Rcd 17087, 17100-01 (1997); recon 
denied 15 FCC Rcd 303 (1999); 47 C.F.R.  1.80(b)(4).

46   Id.  

47   See 47 C.F.R.  1.80(b)(4).

48   Brittan Communications International Corp., 15 FCC Rcd 4852 
(2000) (Brittan Forfeiture Order); Amer-I-Net Services Corp., 15 
FCC Rcd 3118 (2000) (Amer-I-Net Forfeiture Order); All American 
Telephone Company, Inc., 13 FCC Rcd 15040 (1998).

49   December 11 Response. Counsel for ATNC provided a list of 
``state administrative actions that ATN has been party to'' 
during the last two years:  Mississippi Public Service Commission 
(PSC); California (actions taken by both the Public Utilities 
Commission and the Orange County District Attorney's office); 
Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission [in a settlement reached 
January 11, 2000, ATNC agreed to cease marketing in Indiana for 
six months and pay $50,000 for unauthorized conversions of 
consumers preferred carriers; see Docket Number 41546 SC01, 
consolidated with Docket Number 41546 SC01]; State of Arkansas; 
Tennessee Regulatory Authority; South Carolina Public Service 
Commission; Oklahoma Corporation Commission; Iowa (actions taken 
by both the Iowa Utilities Board and the Iowa Office of the 
Attorney General); Florida Public Service Commission; Kentucky 
Public Service Commission; and the Alabama Public Service 

50   See 47 U.S.C.  503(b)(4)(C); 47 C.F.R.  1.80(f)(3).

51   See CNN, Inc., et al, Order to Show Cause and Notice of 
Opportunity for Hearing, 12 FCC Rcd 8547 (1997) (the ``Fletcher 

52   47 U.S.C.  258; 47 C.F.R.  64.1100, 64.1150.  See also 
Second Report and Order, 14 FCC Rcd 1508 (1998) and 
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, CC Docket No. 94-129, Further Notice of Proposed 
Rulemaking and Memorandum Opinion and Order on Reconsideration, 
12 FCC Rcd 10674 (1997)(1997 FNPRM & Order on Reconsideration.).

53   47 U.S.C.  258.

54   See 47 C.F.R.  64.1100, 64.1150; see also 1998 Second 
Report and Order; 1997 FNPRM & Order on Reconsideration.

55   The forfeiture amount should be paid by check or money order 
drawn to the order of the Federal Communications Commission.  
ATNC should include the reference ``NAL/Acct. No. 200132170016'' 
on America's Tele-Network Corp's check or money order.  Such 
remittance must be mailed to Forfeiture Collection Section, 
Finance Branch, Federal Communications Commission, P.O. Box. 
73482, Chicago, Illinois 60673-7482.  Requests for full payment 
under an installment plan should be sent to: Chief, Credit and 
Debt Management Center, 445 12th Street, S.W., Washington, D.C. 
20554.  See 47 C.F.R.  1.1914.