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Media Contact: 
Will Wiquist, (202) 418-0509
For Immediate Release
Consumer Complaints Prompted Investigation into Telecommunications Carrier
WASHINGTON, April 27, 2018—The Federal Communications Commission today proposed 
a $5,323,322 fine against Tele Circuit Network Corporation.  The Duluth, Georgia-based 
phone company apparently switched consumers from their preferred carrier to Tele Circuit 
without their permission, misled consumers into believing that telemarketing calls were from 
the consumer’s current carrier, provided fabricated verification recordings of consumer consent 
to the FCC, added unauthorized charges to bills, and failed to fully respond to a Commission 
The FCC’s investigation into Tele Circuit was prompted by consumer complaints to the 
Commission, state regulators, and the Better Business Bureau.  A large percentage of the 
complaints came from low-income Americans and senior citizens or people filing complaints 
on behalf of their elderly or infirm relatives.  Many Americans, especially senior citizens, low-
income consumers, and citizens in rural areas, rely on local and long-distance calling services 
from landline phones to provide a critical link to safety services and their communities.  
The FCC alleges that Tele Circuit’s telemarketers misrepresented their identities by stating that 
they were calling on behalf of the consumer’s current service provider.  The telemarketers also 
apparently discussed a fictitious government program for low-income individuals and senior 
citizens as a way to solicit consumer consent.  
Following such calls, the company switched consumers’ local and long-distance service 
providers—often called slamming—and, in some cases, added unauthorized charges to the 
consumer’s bill—often called cramming.  Tele Circuit apparently disconnected local and long-
distance service in some cases after not receiving payment for the unauthorized charges—with 
Tele Circuit allegedly refusing to reinstate service until the crammed charges were paid in full.  
This dangerous practice left vulnerable consumers without telephone service for extended 
periods of time.  
In response to FCC requests, the company provided the agency with recordings that purported 
to verify consumer consent.  The Commission followed up with the consumers supposedly on 
these recordings and was told that the recordings were fake or that the consumers did not have 
any such communications with Tele Circuit or its third-party verifier.  Many of the third-party 
verification recordings provided to the Commission also failed to adequately confirm that the 
consumer wanted to change carriers and understood what was being asked.  The company also 
apparently failed to fully respond to formal inquiries from the Commission as required. 
The proposed action, a Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture, or NAL, contains only 
allegations that advise a party on how it has apparently violated the law and sets forth a 
proposed monetary penalty.  The Commission may not impose a greater monetary penalty in 
this case than the amount proposed in the NAL.  Neither the allegations nor the proposed 
sanctions in the NAL are final Commission actions.  The party will be given an opportunity to 
respond and the Commission will consider the party’s submission of evidence and legal 
arguments before acting further to resolve the matter.
Consumer complaints help the Commission in its enforcement and policy-making work.  Such 
complaints can be filed with the FCC at or by calling (888) CALL-
The Notice of Apparently Liability for Forfeiture can be found at:
Office of Media Relations: (202) 418-0500
ASL Videophone: (844) 432-2275
TTY: (888) 835-5322
Twitter: @FCC  
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. Cir. 1974).