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                           Before the
                     Washington, D.C.  20554

In the Matter of                )
                                )       File No.  EB-00-TC-006
AT&T Communications, Inc.       )
                                )       NAL/Acct.             No. 
Apparent Liability for Forfeiture       )

                       ORDER OF FORFEITURE

     Adopted:  April 12, 2001;     Released:  April 17, 2001

By the  Commission:  Commissioner  Furchtgott-Roth concurring  in 
part, dissenting in part, and
                     issuing a statement.

                        I.   INTRODUCTION
          In this  Order,  we  assess a  forfeiture  of  $520,000 
against AT&T  Communications,  Inc.  (``AT&T'')  for  willful  or 
repeated violations of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended 
(the ``Act''),1 and our rules  and orders.2  For the reasons  set 
forth below, we find that  AT&T willfully or repeatedly  violated 
section 258 of the Act and  the Commission's rules and orders  by 
changing the preferred  carriers for 11  telephone lines  without 
the consumers' authorization, a practice commonly referred to  as 

                         II.  BACKGROUND

          The facts and circumstances leading to the issuance  of 
our December 21, 2000 Notice of Apparent Liability (``NAL'')  are 
fully recited in the NAL and  need not be reiterated at  length.3 
During the course of the year 2000, the Commission received  over 
1,000  consumer  complaints  alleging  slamming  by  AT&T.4   The 
Commission sent Letters of Inquiry to AT&T requesting  additional 
information for  approximately  70  of  these  complaints.   This 
proceeding is based on 12 of those consumer complaints, involving 
14 telephone  lines.  Each  complainant  asserted that  AT&T  had 
converted  his  or  her  designated  preferred  carrier   without 
authorization.  Each  of  these 12  complainants  provided  sworn 
statements and evidence in support of his or her complaint.

          Following an  investigation  of the  above  complaints, 
which  included  an  opportunity  for  AT&T  to  respond  to  the 
allegations raised  by complainants,  the Commission  issued  the 
AT&T NAL.  There we  found  that AT&T  had apparently  failed  to 
obtain  the   complainants'   authorization   before   submitting 
preferred carrier change requests, in violation of section 258 of 
the Act and the Commission's  rules and orders against  slamming.  
Further, we found that AT&T was apparently liable for a  proposed 
forfeiture of $40,000 for each  of 12 violations and $80,000  for 
each of two violations, resulting in a total proposed  forfeiture 
amount of $640,000.5 

                         III. DISCUSSION

          In its response to the NAL, AT&T does not deny that  it 
submitted preferred carrier  change orders  to the  complainants' 
local exchange carriers; however, AT&T contests the  Commission's 
finding of  apparent  liability  and  proposal  of  a  forfeiture 
penalty.  We take up AT&T's arguments in turn.
A.   Undisputed Conversions

          Regarding six of the apparent slamming violations, AT&T 
acknowledges that  the lines  were changed  to AT&T  without  the 
consumers' authorization due to ``processing'' or ``data  entry'' 
errors.6  AT&T  argues  that  the  proposed  forfeiture   amounts 
associated  with  these   complaints  should   be  rescinded   or 
significantly reduced.  As a basis for this argument, AT&T states 
that it did not intend  to slam any of  these lines and that  the 
NAL does not make  any finding, or cite  any evidence, that  AT&T 
was negligent  in  attempting  to comply  with  the  Commission's 
carrier selection  rules.  But,  neither the  Act nor  our  rules 
require evidence of specific intent or negligence to support  the 
finding of  a  violation.   Section  258  and  our  rules  impose 
liability for any unauthorized change in a subscriber's preferred 
carrier, whether intentional or inadvertent.7  

          AT&T argues that the  imposition of a large  forfeiture 
when there  has been  no finding  of fault  ``cannot provide  any 
incentive to a  carrier to  conform to  the Commission's  carrier 
selection rules.''8  This argument  is unpersuasive.  As we  said 
in the  Section  258  Order, holding  carriers  liable  for  both 
inadvertent and intentional unauthorized changes to  subscribers' 
preferred carriers will reduce the overall incidence of  slamming 
and is consistent with section 258.9  We fail to see how  finding 
a violation, without an assessment of a meaningful penalty, would 
accomplish that  objective.10   Furthermore, the  Commission  has 
expressed  concern  that  forfeiture  penalties  in  general   be 
sufficiently high so as not to be considered an ``affordable cost 
of doing  business.''11   We  therefore conclude  that  the  base 
forfeiture amount  of $40,000  per violation  is appropriate  for 
each of these six violations.     

          AT&T  also  argues  that  the  imposition  of  a  large 
forfeiture  is  unwarranted  under  the  Commission's   announced 
policies  and  rules.12   Specifically,  AT&T  contends  that  in 
proposing the base  forfeiture amount of  $40,000 per  violation, 
the Commission did not take  into account as a mitigating  factor 
the company's history of overall compliance with the Commission's 
slamming rules.13 In support of this argument, AT&T contends that 
it  has  "led  the  industry  in  preserving  and  enhancing  the 
integrity of the presubscription process."14  AT&T points to  the 
fact that  it  petitioned the  Commission  to initiate  the  rule 
making that  ultimately  extended  third  party  verification  of 
carrier changes  obtained  through telemarketing  to  the  entire 
industry.  AT&T also states that  in 1998 it created an  internal 
"Slamming  Resolution   Center"  to   handle  consumer   slamming 
complaints.  We are not convinced that these actions  demonstrate 
a  history  of  overall   compliance  with  the  slamming   rules 
justifying a reduction in the proposed forfeiture amount.  AT&T's 
actions may  demonstrate the  company's commitment  to  complying 
with the Act, but do not prove the company's success in doing so.  
We note that AT&T's substantial market share provided the company 
ample incentive  to support  implementation of  the  Commission's 
strong verification  standards.   Likewise,  the  creation  of  a 
"Slamming  Resolution   Center"  may   well  demonstrate   AT&T's 
commitment  to   assist  consumers   that  have   made   slamming 
allegations; it  does not  prove  anything regarding  the  actual 
incidence of slamming.

          AT&T also  cites to  statistical analyses  of  consumer 
slamming complaints filed with the Commission that, according  to 
AT&T, demonstrate its  slamming compliance.15   For example,  the 
1997 Scorecard shows  that AT&T  received the  highest number  of 
consumer slamming complaints for  the 1996 calendar year,  1,866, 
but that its slamming  "complaint ratio" was  the lowest for  the 
seven carriers16 served  with more than  100 slamming  complaints 
during that year.17 We are not persuaded to reduce the forfeiture 
amount based on  these statistics. AT&T  has provided  statistics 
primarily regarding  slamming  complaints it  received  from  the 
Commission for  calendar years  1995 through  June 199918.   But, 
neither the  raw  number of  slamming  complaints served  by  the 
Commission, nor  AT&T's  "complaint  ratio,"  demonstrate  AT&T's 
actual compliance with the  Act.  Just as  we would not  increase 
the amount of a forfeiture based solely on the fact that a  large 
number of complaints had been  lodged against the carrier, so  we 
decline to reduce a proposed forfeiture based solely on the  fact 
that a  carrier may  have had  relatively few  complaints  lodged 
against it as compared to  its revenues.  We therefore find  that 
AT&T has failed to demonstrate a history of compliance warranting 
a reduction of the proposed forfeiture amount.  

          Finally, AT&T suggests that  based on its  longstanding 
cooperation  with   the   Commission   in   addressing   slamming 
complaints, the  allegations  made in  the  NAL could  have  been 
resolved with  the  Commission without  the  issuance of  a  NAL.  
According to AT&T, ``[i]f  the Commission had discussed with AT&T 
the specific  claims  that form  the  basis for  the  NAL,  those 
disputes could readily have been resolved, either by provision of 
the additional  information discussed  in this  submission or  an 
appropriate    negotiated     outcome.''19     AT&T     seemingly 
misunderstands the procedure contemplated under section 503(b) of 
the Act.  Section 503(b) provides that a carrier will be given an 
opportunity to address  the allegations  in the NAL  by filing  a 
response to the NAL.20  It does  not require that the carrier  be 
given an  opportunity  to  address  those  allegations  prior  to 
issuance of the NAL.  Even so, before issuing the NAL, Commission 
staff  requested   further   information  from   AT&T   regarding 
approximately 70 slamming complaints,  including the 12 at  issue 
here.   AT&T  therefore  had  every  opportunity  to  propose   a 
``negotiated outcome'' of  this matter prior  to issuance of  the 
NAL if it determined it was in its interest to do so .21

B.   LOA Complaint

          With respect  to the  complaint filed  by Ms.  Palacio, 
AT&T argues that  a finding  of liability is  unsupported by  the 
facts surrounding the allegations. 22  According to AT&T, at  the 
time AT&T processed the change  of Ms. Palacio's lines, AT&T  did 
not know or have reason to know that the signature on the LOA was 
not authentic.23   As stated  above, section  258 and  our  rules 
impose  liability  whether   a  slam  is   intentional  or   not. 
Furthermore, section  503(b)  of  the Act  gives  the  Commission 
authority 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.24  
For a violation to be willful  under section 503(b), it need  not 
be intentional.25   AT&T  therefore cannot  escape liability  for 
switching Ms. Palacio's two lines, even if it did not have actual 
or constructive  notice that  the signature  on the  LOA was  not 

          In  addition,  AT&T   maintains  that   it  had   taken 
reasonable steps  to  maintain  the  integrity  of  such  carrier 
changes.  Specifically,  AT&T asserts  that its  marketing  agent 
voluntarily implemented a policy  of terminating employees  found 
to have  engaged  in slamming  prior  to processing  the  Palacio 
switch.  Therefore, according to AT&T, the facts surrounding  the 
unauthorized  conversations   do  not   support  a   finding   of 
liability.26  Although we  applaud the  efforts of  AT&T and  all 
carriers that implement procedures  to combat slamming, the  mere 
practice of  terminating  employees  found  to  have  engaged  in 
slamming does  not  negate  liability  should  slams  nonetheless 
occur.27   Hence,  we  find  AT&T  liable  for  the  unauthorized 
conversion of Ms. Palacio's two lines.

          We further find  that a forfeiture  penalty of  $80,000 
apiece for the unauthorized conversion of Ms. Palacio's two lines 
is  appropriate.    The   Commission  has   consistently   issued 
forfeitures at  $80,000  per  violation for  the  use  of  forged 
LOAs.28  In these  orders, the Commission  found that the  higher 
forfeiture amount was  warranted by the  egregious nature of  the 
misconduct.29  AT&T has provided us with no reason to change  our 
practice in this situation.  To the extent that AT&T argues  that 
the Commission  has  granted  substantial  forfeiture  reductions 
after finding  ``particularly  egregious conduct,''  the  consent 
decree cited is not relevant to our determination in this case.30  
Under the terms  of the  consent decree, the  Commission made  no 
finding of  liability.31   Accordingly, the  Commission  did  not 
assess a forfeiture penalty for the alleged violations  discussed 
in its NAL. 

C.   Third Party Verification Complaints 

          With  respect  to  these  remaining  preferred  carrier 
changes,32 AT&T  maintains that  it should  not be  found  liable 
because AT&T asserts it verified each of these carrier changes in 
accordance with Commission  rules.  As a  preliminary matter,  we 
note that a change that has  not been properly authorized in  the 
first instance, cannot be ``properly verified.''33  Moreover, our 
rules relating  to  third-party verification  require  that  ``an 
appropriately qualified independent third party has obtained  the 
subscriber's oral authorization to  submit the preferred  carrier 
change order that confirms and includes appropriate  verification 
data. . . .  The content of the  verification must include  clear 
and conspicuous confirmation that the subscriber has authorized a 
preferred carrier change.''34 

          In support of its claim  that it properly verified  Ms. 
Plunkett's order for local service, AT&T provided a document with 
a table showing the word ``pass'' and ``2/8/00 08:49PM'' next  to 
each  of  the  following  ``TPV  Type''  categories:   ``local,'' 
``intraLATA,'' and ``interLATA.''35  In  the NAL, the  Commission 
found AT&T  was apparently  liable  for slamming  Ms.  Plunkett's 
service because the table did not provide sufficient evidence  of 
``clear  and   conspicuous  confirmation''   that  Ms.   Plunkett 
authorized a  change  of  her  local  service.   To  counter  the 
Commission's finding, AT&T provides a declaration from its  third 
party  verifier  attesting  that  "the  term  'pass'  [during   a 
verification] in  fact  indicates that  the  customer  separately 
affirmed her selection  of AT&T  for each of  the services  shown 
there.''36   We  are  not   persuaded  that  AT&T  received   Ms. 
Plunkett's  authorization  to  switch   her  local  service   or, 
therefore, that AT&T's third-party verifier properly obtained Ms. 
Plunkett's oral verification of such authorization.  Ms. Plunkett 
states in her complaint that AT&T was already her preferred  long 
distance provider.37   Southwestern  Bell  Telephone  (SBC),  Ms. 
Plunkett's LEC, verified  that AT&T  had been  her long  distance 
provider since October 1999, and provided evidence that on  March 
24, 2000, it received a mechanized order from AT&T to change only 
Ms. Plunkett's local service.38  The term ``pass'' on a  document 
next  to  three  different  AT&T  service  offerings  that   were 
allegedly ordered on February 8, 2000, fails to provide  evidence 
of a  ``clear and  conspicuous confirmation''  that Ms.  Plunkett 
authorized the change to her local service provider that occurred 
on March  24,  2000.   We  therefore find  AT&T  liable  for  the 
unauthorized conversion of Ms. Plunkett's line. 

          AT&T  also  states  that  the  line  on  the  document, 
``Unique  TPV  ID:   1016,''  is  identifying  information   (Ms. 
Plunkett's birthdate) proving that its verifier properly obtained 
Ms. Plunkett's verification.39  The issue  here is not whether  a 
verifier spoke  with  Ms.  Plunkett,  but  whether  Ms.  Plunkett 
authorized a change to her local service.  AT&T asserts that  its 
third party verifier  verified authorization  of three  different 
AT&T services during a conversation with Ms. Plunkett on February 
8, 2000.   Ms.  Plunkett contends  that  she did  not  give  AT&T 
authorization to switch her local service provider.  We find that 
the identifying information provided by AT&T does not rebut  that 

          As to the Krumweide complaint, upon closer  examination 
of the record it appears  Ms. Krumweide may have authorized  AT&T 
to change her preferred  interstate and intrastate long  distance 
provider.  Ms. Krumweide  states in  her complaint  that she  was 
``slammed'' and did not authorize a preferred carrier change.   A 
handwritten note  attached  to  her complaint  implies  that  Ms. 
Krumweide believed she was slammed because she requested, but did 
not receive, AT&T's  ``One Rate Five  Cent Plan."40  Rather,  the 
evidence suggests that  because her  LEC is  a small  independent 
telephone  company,  Nemont  Telephone  Cooperative,  Inc.,   the 
requested plan was not available and Ms. Krumweide was charged  a 
higher  rate.41    Based  on   this  conflicting   evidence,   we 
accordingly  do  not  find  AT&T  liable  for  the   unauthorized 
conversion of Ms. Krumweide's line  and will reduce the  proposed 
forfeiture amount by $40,000.

          AT&T maintains that it received authority to change Mr. 
Agnew's service for two lines during a telemarketing call to  his 
business on April 5, 2000.42   Prior to issuance of the NAL, AT&T 
failed to  submit  evidence  to support  its  assertion  that  it 
received authorization and properly verified the purported change 
request.  In  response  to  the  NAL,  however,  AT&T  submits  a 
declaration from  a  third party  verifier  along with  an  audio 
recording of what it represents to be verification of the  change 
request by Mr. Agnew.  The tape demonstrates that the third party 
verifier  asked  Mr.  Agnew  "[d]o  you  understand  that  you're 
authorizing AT&T to  switch the long  distance service to  AT&T?"  
Mr. Agnew answers  this question  in the  affirmative. The  tape, 
therefore, persuades us  that Mr. Agnew  authorized or  confirmed 
the change and we accordingly will reduce the proposed forfeiture 
amount by $40,000 for each of his two lines for a total reduction 
of $80,000.

          AT&T maintains that a finding of liability with respect 
to the Ortega and Patterson complaints would be misplaced.   AT&T 
acknowledges that  ``confirmation  of  the  carrier  changes  was 
obtained by AT&T's  verification agent from  an individual  other 
than the complaining consumer.''  AT&T does not contest that  the 
persons from  whom they  received ``verification''  were not,  in 
fact, authorized to confirm those carrier changes.  AT&T goes  on 
to state  that  such  ``actual'' authority  is  irrelevant  to  a 
determination  of  whether  AT&T  slammed  these  consumers.   We 
disagree.   A  carrier  cannot   comply  with  the   Commission's 
verification procedures  if  it  receives  confirmation  from  an 
individual not  authorized to  make the  change.43  We  therefore 
find AT&T liable  for the unauthorized  conversion of the  Ortega 
and Patterson complaints.     
                         IV.  CONCLUSION

          After reviewing the  information filed by  AT&T in  its 
Response, we  find that  AT&T  has failed  to identify  facts  or 
circumstances  to  persuade  us  that  there  is  any  basis  for 
reconsidering the AT&T NAL, except  with regard to the  Krumweide 
and Agnew complaints as discussed  above.  Further, AT&T has  not 
shown  any  mitigating  circumstances  sufficient  to  warrant  a 
reduction  of  the  forfeiture  penalty  for  the  remaining   11 

                      V.  ORDERING CLAUSES

          Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED  pursuant to Section  503(b) 
of the Act,  47 U.S.C.  503(b), and Section  1.80(f)(4) of  the 
Commission's  rules,   47   C.F.R.     1.80(f)(4),   that   AT&T 
Communications,  Inc.  SHALL   FORFEIT  to   the  United   States 
Government the  sum  of  five  hundred  twenty  thousand  dollars 
($520,000) for violating  Sections 258  of the Act,  47 U.S.C.   
258, as  well  as the  Commission's  rules and  orders  governing 
preferred carrier conversions.44

          IT IS  FURTHER ORDERED  that a  copy of  this Order  of 
Forfeiture shall be sent by certified United States mail to  AT&T 
Communications, Inc., 295 North Maple Avenue, Basking Ridge,  New 
Jersey, 07920.


                         Magalie Roman Salas

                    PART, DISSENTING IN PART

98-00-TC-006, NAL/ACCT. NO. 200132170015.

     I support vigorous enforcement of the statutory prohibition 
against slamming and agree with the Commission's finding of 
liability here.  However, with respect to six of the violations 
at issue - the so-called ``undisputed conversions'' - I dissent 
from the Commission's determination of the amount of forfeiture.  
As AT&T explains (and no one disputes), these violations were 
caused wholly by processing or data entry errors.  In other 
words, AT&T in no way intended to slam these customers, had 
procedures in place to prevent slamming, but erroneously changed 
these customers' preferred carriers.  In such circumstances, 
assessing the standard forfeiture amount is inappropriate.

     While I do not, at present, challenge the strict liability 
standard imposed by the Commission for slamming, it is essential 
that the use of such a standard be accompanied by considerable 
discretion.  Companies like AT&T process millions of change 
orders each year, and it is impossible to eliminate all mistakes.  
As the Commission acknowledged in announcing its strict liability 
standard, ``even with the greatest care, innocent mistakes will 
occur and may result in unauthorized changes.''  Implementation 
of the Subscriber Carrier Selection Changes Provisions of the 
Telecommunications Act of 1996, Second Report and Order and 
Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, 14 FCC Rcd 1508 (1998) 
[52].  The Commission thus stated that, in exercising its 
forfeiture authority, it would ``take into consideration in any 
enforcement action the willfulness of the carriers involved.''  
Id.  Accordingly, the Commission's rules explicitly require it to 
consider the ``degree of culpability'' in determining the amount 
of forfeiture penalty.  47 C.F.R.  1.80(b)(4).

     The Commission has failed to follow these rules here.  In 
terms of culpability, AT&T's unintentional violations of the 
slamming rules pale in comparison to most of those that we have 
previously penalized.  The record shows that AT&T has in place a 
comprehensive system to prevent slamming, which, although not 
perfect, is among the best in the industry.  In these 
circumstances, the penalty for slamming should be significantly 
reduced.  At the very least, the Commission should have given 
these mitigating factors substantial consideration in making its 


1    Section 258 states in pertinent part that ``no 
telecommunications carrier shall submit . . . a change in a 
subscriber's selection of a provider of telephone exchange 
service or telephone toll service except in accordance with such 
verification procedures as the Commission shall prescribe.''  47 
U.S.C.  258.
2    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.  See also Implementation of the 
Subscriber Carrier Selection Changes Provisions of the 
Telecommunications Act of 1996 and Policies and Rules Concerning 
Unauthorized Changes of Consumers' Long Distance Carriers, Second 
Report and Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, 14 
FCC Rcd 1508 (1998) (Section 258 Order), stayed in nonrelevant 
part, MCI WorldCom v. FCC, No. 99-1125 (D.C. Cir. May 18, 1999), 
stay dissolved, MCI WorldCom v. FCC, No. 99-1125 (D.C. Cir. June 
27, 2000); Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and Memorandum 
Opinion and Order on Reconsideration, 12 FCC Rcd 10674 (1997).

3    AT&T Communications, Inc., Notice of Apparent Liability for 
Forfeiture, 16 FCC Rcd 438 (2000) (AT&T NAL).
4    Contrary to AT&T's response we don't believe it is 
inappropriate to reference the number of complaints received by 
the Commission as background information.  AT&T Opposition filed 
Jan. 22, 2001 at 27 (Response).
5    AT&T NAL, 16  FCC Rcd at 438.  The Commission has authority 
pursuant to section 503(b) 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.  47 U.S.C. 503(b).   See 
Commission's Forfeiture Policy Statement and Amendment of Section 
1.80 of the Rules to Incorporate the Forfeiture Guidelines, 
Report and Order, 12 FCC Rcd 17087, 17097 (1997) (Forfeiture 
Policy Statement).
6    Response at 20-21.  The six complaints at issue here are 
Complaint dated April 12, 2000, from Phyllis Crawford; Complaint 
dated May 15, 2000, from David S. Scott; Complaint dated March 
15, 2000 from Bernhard L. Hanavan; Complaint dated August 10, 
2000, from Esta Schuerholz; Complaint dated September 5, 2000, 
from Steven R. Rosenberg; and Complaint dated October 18, 2000, 
from David Dinerman. 
7    Section 258 Order, 14 FCC Rcd at 1539.
8    Response at 22.
9    Section 258 Order, 14 FCC Rcd at 1540.
10   Our determination that assessing a forfeiture penalty is 
likely to have a greater deterrent effect than not assessing one 
is consistent with the legislative history of section 503(b).  
The legislative history demonstrates Congress's concern that the 
Commission would have authority to `` impose forfeitures 
sufficiently high to deter violations and constitute a meaningful 
sanction when violations occur.''  Forfeiture Policy Statement, 
12 FCC Rcd at 17089.

11   Id. at 17099-100.
12   Response at 22. 
13   47 CFR   1.80(b)(4) Section II. 
14   Response at 3.
15   Response at 4, citing  "Common Carrier Scorecard, Fall 
1996," Industry Analysis Division, Common Carrier Bureau; "Common 
Carrier Scorecard, December 1997," Industry Analysis Division, 
Common Carrier Bureau (1997 Scorecard); "Common Carrier 
Scorecard, November, 1998," Enforcement and Industry Analysis 
Divisions, Common Carrier Bureau; "The FCC Telephone Consumer 
Complaint Scorecard," Common Carrier Bureau, December 1998; 
"Trends In Telephone Service, March 2000," Industry Analysis 
16   The report separated carriers from resellers based on the 
companies' self-identification as submitted on the 
Telecommunications Relay Service Fund Worksheet.  1997 Scorecard 
at 32.
17   Id.  The complaint ratio is a measure of the overall number 
of complaints directed against a carrier adjusted by the 
carrier's revenues.  Thus, the ratio permits rough comparison of 
the number of slamming complaints as between large and small 
18   We note that, as part of a consent decree arising out of an 
earlier Notice of Apparent Liability, the Common Carrier Bureau 
agreed not to initiate on its own motion forfeiture proceedings 
for any informal consumer slamming complaints prior to August 1, 
1996.  American Telephone and Telegraph Corporation, Order and 
Consent Decree, 11 FCC Rcd 17312, 17318 (Com. Car. Bur. 1996).

19   Response at 23-24.
20   47 U.S.C.   503(b)(4).
21   The Commission is not obligated to disclose any facts it 
uncovers during the course of an investigation prior to issuance 
of a NAL.
22   Response at 8-12.
23   Id. at 10.
24   47 U.S.C.  503(b)(1)(B).
25   Southern California Broadcasting Co., 6 FCC Rcd 4387 (1991).  
AT&T appears to argue that the Commission based its finding of 
liability for Ms. Palacio's preferred-carrier changes upon a 
determination that AT&T was aware that the LOA signature might 
have been forged.  Response at 9-10.  The NAL states, however, 
that AT&T's response to Ms Palacio's complaint did not dispute 
her allegation of forgery.  AT&T NAL, 16 FCC Rcd at 445.  Based 
on our discussion of Section 258's strict liability standard, it 
was not necessary to make such a determination of intent.
26   Response at 11-12.
27   See Coleman Enterprises, Inc., Order of Forfeiture, 15 FCC 
Rcd 24385, 24388 (2000).
28   Brittan Communications International Corp., Order of 
Forfeiture 15 FCC Rcd 4852 (2000) (Brittan Forfeiture Order); 
Amer-I-Net Services Corp., Order of Forfeiture, 15 FCC Rcd 3118 
(2000) (Amer-I-Net Forfeiture Order); All American Telephone 
Company, Inc., Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture, 13 
FCC Rcd 15040 (1998) (All American NAL). 

29   See, e.g. Brittan Forfeiture Order, 15 FCC Rcd at 4855.
30   Response at 23, n.38 citing Qwest Communications 
International, Inc., Order and Consent Decree, 15 FCC Rcd 14699 
(2000) (Qwest Consent).
31   Qwest Consent, 15 FCC Rcd at 14705.
32   Complaint dated August 29, 2000, from Tracie Ortega; 
Declaration of Thomas H. Patterson dated June 6, 2000; Complaint 
dated April 10, 2000, from Theresa M. Plunkett (Plunkett 
Complaint); Complaint dated July 27, 2000, from Mari Krumwiede 
(Krumwiede Complaint); and Complaint dated June 21, 2000, from 
Robert Agnew. 
33   47 CFR 64.1150.  
34   47 C.F.R.  64.1150(d).
35   AT&T NAL, 16 FCC Rcd at para 24.
36   Response, Exhibit D2 at 2.
37   AT&T NAL, 16 FCC Rcd at 447.  Ms. Plunkett's local exchange 
carrier also verified that AT&T was Ms. Plunkett's preferred long 
distance provider.  The evidence provided by AT&T also uses the 
term "pass" in relationship to Ms. Plunkett's long distance 
38   Response to Plunkett Complaint from Southwestern Bell 
Telephone Company, dated May 30, 2000..  This report does not 
distinguish between intrastate and interstate long distance.  It 
simply states that AT&T was Ms. Plunkett's long distance 
39   Response at n. 25.
40   Krumwiede Complaint.
41   Response to Krumwiede Complaint from Nemont Telephone 
Cooperative, Inc. dated Oct. 20, 2000.
42   Response at 15-16.
43   See Brittan Communications International, Inc., Notice of 
Apparent Liability for Forfeiture, 14 FCC Rcd 296-97(1998).  
There is no evidence in the record indicating that the persons 
who allegedly confirmed these changes misrepresented their 
identities to AT&T's third party verifier, or that they were even 
known by the complainants. 
44   The forfeiture amount should be paid by check or money order 
drawn to the order of the Federal Communications Commission.  
AT&T should include the reference ``NAL/Acct. No. 200132170015'' 
on AT&T Communications, Inc.'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.