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                           Before the
                FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
                     Washington, D.C.  20554


In the Matter of                )
                                )       File No.  ENF 98-02
Business Discount Plan, Inc.    )
                                )       NAL/Acct. No. 916EF0004
Apparent Liability for Forfeiture       )


                       ORDER OF FORFEITURE

     Adopted:  June 30, 2000                 Released: July   17, 
2000

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


                        I.   INTRODUCTION

          In this  Order, we  assess a  forfeiture of  $2,400,000 
against Business  Discount Plan,  Inc. (``BDP'')  for willful  or 
repeated violations of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended 
(the ``Act''),  and  our rules  and  orders.  We  find  that  BDP 
willfully or repeatedly violated section  258 of the Act and  the 
Commission's  rules  and   orders  by   changing  the   preferred 
interexchange carriers (``PICs'') designated by thirty  consumers 
without their authorization, a  practice commonly referred to  as 
``slamming.''   Additionally,  we  find  that  BDP  willfully  or 
repeatedly violated section 201(b) of the Act by using unjust and 
unreasonable  telemarketing  practices  in  connection  with  its 
slamming violations, such as misrepresenting the nature of  BDP's 
service offering.

                         II.  BACKGROUND

          The facts and circumstances leading to the issuance  of 
our December 17, 1998 Notice of Apparent Liability (``NAL'')  are 
fully recited in the NAL and  need not be reiterated at  length.1  
Between December 1997 and October 1998, the Commission  processed 
thousands of  written consumer  complaints alleging  slamming  by 
BDP.2  The Commission  investigated thirty  of these  complaints. 
Each complainant  contended that  BDP had  converted his  or  her 
designated PIC without  authorization, and that  BDP used  unjust 
and  unreasonable  telemarketing  practices  in  effecting  these 
unauthorized PIC changes.  All thirty complainants provided sworn 
statements and evidence in support of their complaints.

          Following an  investigation  of the  above  complaints, 
which  included  an  opportunity  for  BDP  to  respond  to   the 
allegations raised by complainants, the Commission issued the BDP 
NAL.  We  found  that  BDP's  failure  to  obtain   complainants' 
authorization before  submitting PIC-change  requests  apparently 
violated section 258 of the  Act3 and the Commission's rules  and 
orders against slamming.4  In  addition, we determined that  BDP, 
prior  to  effecting  the  unauthorized  conversions,  apparently 
represented or  implied  to  the complainants:  1)  that  it  was 
affiliated with the  consumers' existing local  or long  distance 
carriers; and   2) that  its service  consisted of  a  ``discount 
plan'' that  would  consolidate  the consumers'  local  and  long 
distance charges  on one  bill  for the  consumers'  convenience, 
without changing the consumers' existing long distance carriers.5  
Neither of  these claims  was true.   Accordingly, we  determined 
that BDP's deceptive  telemarketing practices evidenced  apparent 
violations of section 201(b) of the Act.6

          In view  of  the facts  and  circumstances  surrounding 
BDP's apparent  violations,  we  found that  BDP  was  apparently 
liable for  a proposed  forfeiture  of $40,000  for each  of  the 
unauthorized conversions,  and  an additional  $40,000  for  each 
instance  in   which   it  employed   unjust   and   unreasonable 
telemarketing techniques  with  respect  to each  of  the  thirty 
complainants,  resulting  in   a  total   forfeiture  amount   of 
$2,400,000.7

                         III. DISCUSSION

          In its Response to the NAL,  BDP does not deny that  it 
submitted PIC-change orders to  the complainants' local  exchange 
carriers. Nevertheless, BDP contests the Commission's finding  of 
apparent liability for willful or repeated violations of sections 
258 and 201(b) of the Act, as well as the Commission's rules  and 
orders.  Regarding the apparent  slamming violations, BDP  argues 
that it should not  be found liable because:  1) section 258  was 
not yet effective at  the time of  the alleged slamming  conduct; 
and  2)  even  if  section  258  was  effective,  BDP,  with  one 
exception, properly verified the complainants' PIC changes.  With 
respect to the  apparent 201(b) violations,  BDP asserts that  it 
should not be found  liable because: 1)  section 201(b) does  not 
impose any  duty  on common  carriers  to be  truthful  in  their 
promotional practices; and 2) even  if section 201(b) provides  a 
cause of action against BDP for unjust and unreasonable marketing 
practices, BDP did not engage  in such fraudulent practices.  BDP 
also contests the amount of the proposed forfeiture as excessive.  
As discussed below, we reject each of BDP's arguments.

A.   Imposition of a Forfeiture Pursuant  to Section 258 and  the 
     Commission's Rules and Orders

          BDP argues  that  it  cannot be  held  liable  for  the 
alleged slamming violations  because section 258  of the Act  was 
not effective at the time  of the alleged slamming conduct.8  BDP 
correctly  asserts  that  the  Commission's  proposed  rules   to 
implement section 258  had not  been adopted, and  thus were  not 
``prescribed,''9  at   the  time   of  BDP's   alleged   slamming 
violations. While  acknowledging that  the Commission  had  other 
regulations in place at  that time that established  verification 
procedures for the submission of  PIC changes, BDP contends  that 
these regulations were not promulgated under section 258 and thus 
cannot form the basis for BDP's liability.10

          We reject BDP's arguments.  As an initial matter, BDP's 
slamming conduct  violated the  Commission  rules and  orders  in 
effect at the  time of the  activity at issue.   These rules  and 
orders stated that prior to submitting PIC changes, interexchange 
carriers  such  as  BDP   were  required  to  obtain   consumers' 
authorization for  changes in  long  distance service,  and  then 
verify those authorizations in accordance with the  telemarketing 
verification procedures delineated in the rules.11  Although  the 
adoption of these rules and orders predated current section  258, 
these rules and  orders nevertheless  applied to  the conduct  at 
issue in the BDP NAL, and were expressly referenced therein.12   

          Moreover,  we  disagree  with  BDP's  assertion   that, 
because our rules  implementing section  258 had  not yet  become 
effective at  the  time  of  the  activity  at  issue  here,  the 
Commission was somehow barred  from enforcing its existing  rules 
against slamming. In section 258, which became law on February 8, 
1996, Congress  expanded  the  Commission's  slamming  prevention 
authority13 to encompass not only long distance service, but also 
local  exchange  service,   and  to  include   telecommunications 
carriers14  who   execute   changes  in   subscriber's   provider 
selections, as well  as carriers who  submit such changes.15   In 
December  of  1998,  the  Commission  strengthened  its  existing 
verification rules  and  added new  verification  procedures  for 
local exchange carriers.16 The majority  of these new rules  took 
effect on April 27,  1999.17  While BDP  is correct in  asserting 
that  at  the  time  of  the  conduct  here  at  issue,  the  new 
verification rules had not yet become effective, we reject  BDP's 
contention that  Congress intended  to  make our  existing  rules 
ineffective by enacting  section 258.  BDP  cites nothing in  the 
Act or the legislative history of section 258 that would indicate 
such an  intention.   Indeed, the  legislative  history  reflects 
Congressional intent to  strengthen and  expand the  Commission's 
authority over slamming - not vitiate our existing  safeguards.18  
BDP's suggested  result would  have  left consumers  without  any 
protection against  slamming  while  we  conducted  a  rulemaking 
pursuant to section 258.19  We  decline BDP's invitation to  read 
such a counter-intuitive meaning into this provision. 

          Nor do  we  find  merit  in  BDP's  argument  that  the 
Commission cannot enforce section 258 in the instant  proceeding.  
Even without  new verification  rules, section  258 provides  the 
Commission  with  an  independent  basis  for  addressing   BDP's 
conduct.   Indeed,  we   relied  on  section   258  in   previous 
enforcement actions  for  slamming  that occurred  prior  to  the 
adoption of  our  new rules.20   In  these earlier  actions,  the 
Commission enforced section 258  based on our determination  that 
the subject carriers violated our existing verification rules  by 
submitting unauthorized PIC changes for long distance  service.21  
Hence, violation of our existing rules constituted a violation of 
the requirement in  section 258  that carriers  cannot 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  verification procedures  as the  Commission 
shall prescribe.''22   Likewise, in  the instant  proceeding,  we 
find that BDP violated section 258 with conduct that was  already 
within our jurisdiction and subject to the Commission's  existing 
slamming rules.23

          We also  reject  BDP's  suggestion  that  the  language 
``shall prescribe'' in section 25824 evinces a legislative intent 
that section 258 would not become effective until the  Commission 
established  new   verification   rules.    Contrary   to   BDP's 
contention, we read  this prospective language  as directing  the 
Commission to strengthen its existing verification procedures and 
add verification procedures for local exchange carriers,  without 
affecting the  fundamental prohibition  against slamming  in  our 
existing rules or the verification procedures set forth  therein.  
Moreover, it is well-established that unless a statute  specifies 
an  effective  date,  it  is  effective  upon  the  date  of  its 
enactment.25  As noted above, section 258 became law on  February 
8, 1996 - prior to the  date of the slamming violations at  issue 
here.26 

          BDP contends that even if section 258 was effective  at 
the time  BDP  switched the  complainants  to its  long  distance 
service, BDP properly verified  the complainants' PIC  changes.27  
BDP offers four arguments in support of its position.  First, BDP 
claims that, except for one verifier who ``inadvertently switched 
complainant Part  Time Productions,  Inc. by  punching the  wrong 
button,''28 BDP did not convey  the false impression that it  was 
performing only  a  bill  consolidation  service.29  Second,  BDP 
argues that twenty-five of the complaints are unreliable  because 
the Commission  failed  to  obtain sworn  statements  from  these 
complainants.30   Third,  BDP  maintains  that  its  verification 
companies were independent and  physically separate from BDP,  as 
required by the Commission's  rules.31  Finally, BDP denies  that 
it misled consumers, observing that  less than 1 percent of  them 
asked to be switched back  to their prior long distance  carriers 
upon receipt of BDP's letter explaining that it is not affiliated 
with AT&T.32

          BDP's arguments must fail in light of the express terms 
of section 258 and our  existing rules and orders.  For  purposes 
of determining BDP's liability under either, we need only decide: 
1) whether the  complainants authorized the  PIC changes and,  if 
not,  2) whether BDP submitted these unauthorized PIC changes  to 
the complainants' local exchange  carriers.  As noted above,  BDP 
concedes  that  it  submitted  the  PIC  changes  in  question.33  
Further, all  30  complainants have  submitted  sworn  statements 
attesting that they did  not authorize the  PIC changes, and  BDP 
has  submitted  no   countervailing  evidence   to  convince   us 
otherwise.  Indeed,  as  discussed in  the  BDP NAL,  the  record 
clearly demonstrates that BDP  created the false impression  that 
it was offering a  bill consolidation under  the auspices of  the 
consumers' existing AT&T  service.  Even if,  as BDP claims,  its 
verifiers mentioned toward  the end  of the  call that  consumers 
would be ``remaining on  the AT&T network''  and changing to  BDP 
``for inter  and  intra LATA  calls,''  such statements  are  not 
meaningful because  the greater  part of  the call  focused on  a 
``simplified billing format '' for AT&T customers,34 not a change 
in long distance carriers.35   We affirm our prior  determination 
that BDP  knew,  or  should have  known,  that  consumers  acting 
reasonably under these circumstances would be misled or  confused 
by BDP's telemarketing calls  and that therefore, consumers  were 
not authorizing a PIC change.36 

          We also reject  BDP's claim  that the  record fails  to 
support the proposed forfeiture. Contrary to BDP's claim, all  30 
complainants submitted  sworn declarations  in support  of  their 
complaints, and all  of these declarations  were included in  our 
record.37  BDP's  remaining  assertions,38  even  if  valid,  are 
irrelevant to our determination that BDP violated section 258 and 
our rules and orders governing preferred carrier changes.  First, 
even if we assume that BDP's verification companies maintained an 
independent status,  the  record nevertheless  shows  that  those 
companies were acting on behalf of  BDP, such that BDP is  liable 
for their actions.39  Second, BDP's claim of ``customer loyalty'' 
in the  wake  of its  ``mailing''  does nothing  to  obviate  our 
conclusion that BDP deceived and slammed at least 30 consumers in 
the first instance.  

B.         Imposition of a Forfeiture Pursuant to Section 201(b)

          BDP contends  that  it  cannot  be  held  liable  under 
section 201(b)  because the  "Act  does not  impose any  duty  on 
common carriers to be truthful in their promotional practices."40  
To support  its position,  BDP cites  state preemption  cases  in 
which courts  have  held that  the  Communications Act  does  not 
indicate a  ``uniquely  federal interest''  in  common  carriers' 
unfair  and   deceptive  telemarketing   practices,  so   as   to 
``preempt'' state efforts to prevent these practices.  BDP argues 
that because  the  courts  have  not  found  a  uniquely  federal 
interest, section 201(b) does not  provide a cause of action  for 
addressing  the  reasonableness  of  common  carriers'  deceptive 
telemarketing practices.

          We disagree, and  affirm our  prior determination  that 
BDP's deceptive telemarketing  practices constitute ``unjust  and 
unreasonable'' practices within  the meaning  of section  201(b).  
First,  section  201(b)  prohibits  ``unjust  and  unreasonable'' 
practices by common carriers ``in connection with'' communication 
service.41  The  record  demonstrates  that  BDP's  telemarketers 
repeatedly deceived consumers as to BDP's identity and the nature 
of its service, rendering BDP's telemarketing practices  ``unjust 
and unreasonable.''  These  telemarketing practices were  related 
directly to BDP's efforts to provide long distance service to the 
complainants, and thus  were clearly "in  connection with"  BDP's 
communication service.  Hence,  we conclude  that such  practices 
are subject to the Act's  section 201(b) ``just and  reasonable'' 
standard. 

          Second, we reject  BDP's reliance  on state  preemption 
analyses to support its claim that its marketing practices do not 
constitute unjust and unreasonable practices under section 201(b) 
of the Act.  Even if we accept BDP's argument that the Commission 
lacks a ``uniquely federal  interest'' in preventing  slamming,42  
BDP has presented no  evidence or arguments  to persuade us  that 
the Commission therefore lacks  authority to declare a  deceptive 
marketing practice  ``unjust  and  unreasonable''  under  section 
201(b).  We  need not  have a  ``uniquely federal  interest''  in 
preventing such  marketing practices  in  order to  exercise  our 
section 201(b) jurisdiction.  Moreover, the use of section 201(b) 
to address unreasonable marketing practices by common carriers is 
not new.  In 1992, the  Commission stopped short of finding  that 
AT&T had  violated section  201(b), but  cited the  provision  in 
admonishing AT&T concerning credit card marketing practices  that 
had created significant customer confusion.  The Commission noted 
there that  AT&T  ``reasonably  should have  realized  that  many 
members of the general public .  . . were, or could readily  have 
been, misled . . . to their detriment . . .'' by these  marketing 
practices.43 Moreover, in 1989,  the Commission's Common  Carrier 
Bureau determined  that  several carriers  had  violated  section 
201(b)  by  engaging  in  ``unjust  and  unreasonable''  business 
practices, such as ``failing to convey sufficient information  as 
to  the  carriers'  identity,  rates,  practices,  and  range  of 
services.''44  As  in  these  earlier proceedings,  the  BDP  NAL 
properly relied  on section  201(b) in  addressing the  marketing 
practices at issue, and we do so here.45 

          BDP next argues that even if section 201(b) provides  a 
cause of  action  for "misleading,  deceptive  and/or  fraudulent 
telemarketing practices, BDP did not engage in such practices."46  
In support of its argument, BDP advances numerous reasons why  it 
believes the Commission's section 201(b) analysis is flawed.   We 
find all  of these  reasons  legally insufficient  and  factually 
irrelevant  to   our  determination   that  BDP's   telemarketing 
practices deceived consumers in violation of section 201(b).   As 
an   initial   matter,   we   reject   BDP's   claim   that    it 
``unequivocally''  informed  complainants  that  they  would   be 
changing to BDP as their long distance carrier.  To the contrary, 
and as  noted  above,  the record  contains  clear  and  credible 
evidence that BDP conveyed the overall impression that  consumers 
were confirming a  new billing format  offered by their  existing 
carriers --  not  a  change  in  interexchange  carriers.47   We, 
therefore,   affirm   our   prior   determination   that    BDP's 
telemarketers unlawfully deceived consumers about the identity of 
the carrier and  the nature  of the service  offering by  telling 
them that they would be ``remaining on the AT&T network.''

          BDP contends  that  it  was  not  legally  required  to 
disclose ``that its  rates were 20%  higher than AT&T's  rates.'' 
Our NAL never  suggested such  an obligation.   Rather, we  found 
BDP's omission misleading in  the context of telemarketing  calls 
that focused  on enrollment  in a  ``discount plan.''   BDP  also 
defends as reasonable its decision to target AT&T customers  with 
low  monthly  bills,  contending  that  these  consumers  ``would 
readily pay  BDP's  higher rates  to  obtain the  convenience  of 
consolidated billing.''   Like many of BDP's claims, we find this 
assumption about  consumer  behavior irrelevant  to  the  central 
question of whether BDP misrepresented or unreasonably implied an 
affiliation with AT&T.  Nor do  we find merit in BDP's  arguments 
that it: 1) in fact  provided consolidated billing to  consumers; 
or 2) never told consumers that its service consisted  ``solely'' 
of consolidated billing. As stated  above, we have examined  both 
the specific claims made  by BDP in  its telemarketing calls,  as 
well as the net  impression created by  those calls. Whether  BDP 
actually provided consolidated billing, in keeping with its sales 
pitch,48 is irrelevant  to the question  of whether BDP  violated 
section 201(b) by tricking  the complainants into changing  their 
long distance carriers.  Further, even if BDP never  specifically 
stated that  its  service consisted  ``solely''  of  consolidated 
billing,  the  record  contains  substantial  evidence  that  BDP 
conveyed the false overall impression that it was offering only a 
simplified billing format.  

          For similar  reasons, we  reject  BDP's claim  that  we 
improperly based  our forfeiture  on BDP's  failure to  tape  its 
sales solicitations.49   Contrary to  BDP's contention, we  never 
stated that BDP was obligated  to tape its sales calls.   Rather, 
we concluded that there was no evidence or information, including 
any tape recordings, to counter the complainants' allegations  of 
unjust and unreasonable  telemarketing practices.50   Nor did  we 
give undue consideration to the effect of the ``Business Discount 
Plan'' name,  51  or  to items  included  in  our  ``background'' 
section, such as  our reference to  state actions against  BDP.52  
Commission documents  often note  the  existence of  other  legal 
proceedings  against  the  carrier  at  issue.53  Further,  BDP's 
company name was just  one of many factors  we considered in  our 
section 201(b) analysis.

          Finally, we reject  BDP's attempt  to blame  consumers' 
confusion  on  AT&T's   ``provisioning  delays.''54   Given   our 
substantial evidence  of BDP's  deceptive practices,  it  strains 
credibility to suggest, as BDP does, that delays in  provisioning 
caused consumers to ``forget'' they had ordered BDP's service and 
``mistakenly'' complain to federal and state regulatory  agencies 
that BDP had slammed them.''55  
C.        Appropriateness of Assessed Forfeiture Amount

          BDP next argues that even  if it slammed the  consumers 
at   issue,    the    Commission's   proposed    forfeiture    is 
unconstitutionally    excessive    because    it    is    greatly 
disproportionate to the gravity of BDP's offense.56  BDP  further 
claims that assessing a $40,000 penalty for each of the  slamming 
and  section   201(b)  violations   is  inconsistent   with   the 
Commission's  Forfeiture   Policy  Statement.57    Finally,   BDP 
maintains that  one of  the  complaints supporting  our  proposed 
forfeiture, the ``Michael Cherney''  Complaint, is barred by  the 
Act's statute of limitations.  We disagree with BDP's  arguments, 
and affirm our prior determination that a $2.4 million forfeiture 
is appropriate.

          We find  no  merit in  BDP's  claim that  our  proposed 
forfeiture is disproportionate to  the gravity of BDP's  offense. 
The proposed forfeiture is  based on thirty independent  slamming 
complaints against BDP -- out  of numerous complaints filed  with 
the Commission -- and rests on a calculation of $40,000 for  each 
unauthorized preferred carrier change conversion and $40,000  for 
each instance in which BDP engaged in an unjust and  unreasonable 
telemarketing practice. Contrary to BDP's claim, these forfeiture 
amounts are consistent with the forfeiture guidelines established 
in the Forfeiture Policy Statement, and with our broad discretion 
under section 503  of the  Act to implement  these guidelines  by 
issuing forfeitures on a case-by-case basis.58 

          First,  we   assessed  the   standard  $40,000   amount 
established in  the  Forfeiture  Policy  Statement  for  slamming 
violations, even though it was within our discretion to apply the 
``upward adjustment criteria''  in the  forfeiture guidelines  to 
issue  a  higher  forfeiture  amount.59   In  other   proceedings 
involving similarly egregious  slamming activity, the  Commission 
has  applied  the   upward  adjustment   criteria  to   calculate 
forfeitures of double  the standard amount  applied for  slamming 
violations (i.e.,  $80,000).60   Second,  BDP  has  presented  no 
credible evidence that it was unreasonable for the Commission  to 
exercise its broad  discretion and  use the  standard amount  for 
slamming violations  as an  appropriate guideline  for  assessing 
$40,000 forfeitures for  each of the  section 201(b)  violations. 
Although the  Forfeiture Policy  Statement does  not establish  a 
specific forfeiture amount for  violations of section 201(b),  it 
states that ``any  omission of a  specific rule violation  . .  . 
should not  signal that  the  Commission considers  any  unlisted 
violation as nonexistent or unimportant.''61  As we explained  in 
the NAL, BDP's deceptive telemarketing practices were ``aimed  at 
slamming consumers.''62  Accordingly, we  found that,  under  the 
circumstances,  the  standard   $40,000  forfeiture  amount   for 
slamming violations  was  an  appropriate  guideline  to  use  in 
assessing penalties for the section 201(b) violations.63  BDP has 
presented no evidence to  convince us that  we erred in  reaching 
this conclusion.64   Likewise,  it  was  proper  to  treat  BDP's 
conduct as separate violations of our slamming rules and  section 
201(b) of the Act.  There is  nothing in the Act, the  Forfeiture 
Policy Statement, or  any other  Commission order  to prevent  us 
from finding section 201(b)  violations based conduct related  to 
slamming.65  We  reject  BDP's  assertion  that  ``deceptive  and 
fraudulent'' conduct such as slamming can only be punished  under 
section 258  of  the  Act. 66   The  Commission  possesses  broad 
discretion to assess penalties for slamming and/or section 201(b) 
violations on a case-by-case basis.

          We also  reject  BDP's assertion  that  our  forfeiture 
authority is circumscribed by  the ``aggregate damages  sustained 
by  complainants,''  which  BDP   lists  as  $12,144.53.67    The 
Forfeiture Policy Statement establishes a $40,000 base amount for 
slamming  violations,   without  reference   to  the   consumers' 
aggregate damages.   Moreover, BDP  fails to  recognize that  its 
repeated acts of slamming did more than ``rob'' the  complainants 
of  $12,144.53;   it  violated   their   right  to   select   the 
telecommunications providers  of their  choice and  deprived  the 
authorized carriers of their customers.  The Commission has taken 
and will continue to take swift and decisive enforcement  action, 
including the  imposition  of substantial  forfeiture  penalties, 
against carriers found to have engaged in slamming.68 

          Further, contrary  to BDP's  contention, the  ``Michael 
Cherney'' Complaint is within the one-year jurisdictional  period 
contained in section  503(b)(6)(B) of the  Act.69  Indeed,  BDP's 
counsel filed a letter with  the Commission stating that  Michael 
Cherney's service was switched  to BDP on  December 22, 1997,  70 
which was less than a year before December 17, 1998, the date the 
BDP NAL was  issued.  We  also dismiss  as unsubstantiated  BDP's 
argument that  we  should reduce  the  amount of  the  forfeiture 
because its verifier ``inadvertently'' switched complainant  Part 
Time Productions, Inc. by  ``punching the wrong button.''71   BDP 
has offered  no evidence  to support  this claim.72   Nor are  we 
persuaded that our  forfeiture should be  reduced because 1)  BDP 
voluntarily went  to  the  Commission  to  discuss  the  slamming 
complaints and  2)  BDP  sent  consumers  a  letter  offering  to 
transfer them back  to their previous  long distance carrier  (as 
part of  BDP's settlement  agreement with  AT&T).73   While  good 
faith may serve as a mitigating factor, we do not find that BDP's 
``after-the-fact'' efforts outweigh  our substantial evidence  of 
BDP's fraudulent conduct.74

                         IV.  CONCLUSION

          After reviewing  the information  filed by  BDP in  its 
Response, we  find  that BDP  has  failed to  identify  facts  or 
circumstances  to  persuade  us  that  there  is  any  basis  for 
reconsidering the  BDP  NAL.   Further, BDP  has  not  shown  any 
mitigating circumstances sufficient to warrant a reduction of the 
$2,400,000 forfeiture penalty.  Finally, we note that evidence of 
further violations may  lead to  institution of  a proceeding  to 
revoke BDP's authorization  to be a  long distance carrier  under 
section 214.75

                      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   Business 
Discount Plan, Inc. SHALL FORFEIT to the United States Government 
the sum of two million four hundred thousand dollars ($2,400,000) 
for violating Sections 201(b)  and 258 of the  Act, 47 U.S.C.   
201(b), 258,  as well  as the  Commission's rules  and orders  in 
effect from December  1997 to December  1998 governing  preferred 
interexchange carrier conversions.

          IT IS  FURTHER ORDERED  that a  copy of  this Order  of 
Forfeiture shall  be  sent by  certified  United States  mail  to 
Thomas David  Jenkins,  Owner and  President,  Business  Discount 
Plan, Inc.,  3780  Kilroy Airport  Way,  Suite 200,  Long  Beach, 
California, 20806.



                         FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS  COMMISSION


                         Magalie Roman Salas
                         Secretary

        STATEMENT OF COMMISSIONER HAROLD FURCHTGOTT-ROTH
             CONCURRING IN PART, DISSENTING IN PART
R- Order of Forfeiture, In the Matter of Business Discount Plan, 
e: Inc. Apparent Liability for Forfeiture 
(rel. July X, 2000).
Although I support today's result, I continue to object to the 
Commission's forays into advertising and marketing regulation. As 
I stated previously,(1) there is no doubt that the Commission has 
authority under  258 to bring enforcement actions against 
"slamming" carriers. Moreover, I strongly support rigorous and 
aggressive enforcement of our slamming rules. In this regard, I 
believe today's forfeiture amount could be easily justified based 
solely on the aggravating factors associated with the carrier's 
Section 258 violations. 
However, I continue to believe that Section 201 alone does not 
provide an independent basis for punishing carriers based on 
their marketing practices. This is a particularly important 
distinction to make, in light of the Commission's recent decision 
to venture into the world of advertising regulation.(2) The FCC 
has neither the authority nor the ability to be the "marketing 
police" of the telecommunications industry.(3) Two additional 
factors also support my reluctance for the FCC to regulate 
marketing practices under Section 201: (1) States have the 
resources and ability to regulate such conduct, and (2) the 
Commission and the public are better served by expending the 
FCC's limited resources on issues more clearly within our 
statutory mandate. Thus, I dissent from the portion of today's 
Order that seeks to punish BDP for its unjust marketing practices 
on the basis of Section 201.(4) 
As I detailed in my dissenting statement regarding the Joint 
FTC/FCC Advertising Guidelines,(5) Section 201(b) forms a meager 
basis for the proposition that the FCC has jurisdiction over 
advertising. The majority's justification in today's Order does 
little to relieve my concerns. Indeed, in promulgating the 
Guidelines, the majority pointed to only two cases in support of 
its interpretation of Section 201. One of those cases was the NAL 
in this proceeding. The other case, In re AT&T's Card Issuer 
Identification Cards,(6) focused on disclosures associated with 
calling cards, and did not find any violation of Section 201. 
Today's decision invokes those cases as well as a third case, 
Telecommunications Research and Action Center and Consumer Action 
(TRAC). Yet TRAC's analysis of 201(b) can best be read as 
primarily turning on the reasonableness of the charged rates--an 
issue that squarely fits within the FCC's authority. These 
precedents underscore the fragility of our legal authority.(7) 
The plain meaning of the term "practices" taken in the context of 
Section 201 does not clearly reach advertising. Indeed, if 
"practices" includes advertising, then it is hard to imagine what 
it does not include. Furthermore, the legislative history of  
201(b) is silent on whether the FCC has authority to address 
these matters. If Congress wanted the FCC to take on these types 
of claims, it would have given us the express authority to do 
so.(8) In the face of congressional silence, this agency should 
be extremely reluctant to assume new regulatory responsibilities.
I earlier warned of the potential slippery slope associated with 
a broad reading of "practices" in 201(b).(9) Unfortunately 
today's decision validates that concern by not only punishing 
Business Discount Plans based on its marketing, but by further 
considering the appropriateness of the use of "Discount" in their 
corporate name. The Order states that "BDP's company name was 
just one of many factors we considered in our section 201(b) 
analysis."(10) The notion that this agency will now be policing 
the legitimacy of business names shows the dangerous road that a 
broad reading of Section 201 will take us down. 
Even if our legal authority were more solid, there are sound 
reasons for the Commission to refrain from marketing regulation. 
First, misleading omissions in advertising, misrepresentation, 
and consumer fraud claims are more effectively enforced under the 
appropriate state consumer protection laws. State regulatory 
authorities have the requisite resources and expertise to protect 
consumers far better than the FCC.(11) Second, the Commission's 
resources are better spent in resolving issues clearly within our 
statutory mandate. The FCC's budget is a zero sum game. Resources 
taken for these activities must necessarily result in lower 
funding levels for other initiatives. Biennial review, universal 
service funding determinations for high cost areas and other core 
tasks should be fully funded before we explore programs on the 
edges of, or outside, our statutory mandate.
Justice may have been served in this matter, but the American 
consumer does not benefit from our decision today to 
independently punish BDP for its marketing practices under 
Section 201. The majority's Section 201-based enforcement action 
is on the periphery of our statutorily mandated domain, 
unnecessarily redundant with state efforts, and an unfortunate 
diversion of funds away from more integral activities. 
For the foregoing reasons, I respectfully dissent in part. 



1 See Statement of Commissioner Harold Furchtgott-Roth, Notice of 
Apparent Liability for Forfeiture, In the Matter of Business 
Discount Plan, Inc. Apparent Liability for Forfeiture, 14 FCC 
Rcd. 340 (1998). The NAL raised Section 201 in concert with 
Section 258 violations. Subsequent assertions by the Commission 
of free standing Section 201 authority over advertising have 
crystallized my opposition to the use of Section 201 as an 
independent basis for advertising liability. 

2 See In re Joint FCC/FTC Policy Statement for the Advertising of 
Dial-Around and Other Long Distance Services to Consumers 
(Publication page references are not available in Westlaw for 
this document.) (2000 WL 232230 (F.C.C.) (adopted by the FCC: 
Feb. 29, 2000) (hereinafter Advertising Guidelines) 
3 See Dissenting Statement of Commissioner Harold Furchtgott-Roth 
In re Joint FCC/FTC Policy Statement for the Advertising of Dial-
Around and Other Long Distance Services to Consumers (2000 WL 
232230 (F.C.C.) http://www.fcc.gov/Speeches/Furchtgott_Roth/ 
Statements/2000/sthfr011.html> (hereinafter Advertising 
Guidelines Dissenting Statement). 

4 See In the Matter of Business Discount Plan, Inc. Apparent 
Liability for Forfeiture, Order of Forfeiture, File No. ENF 98-02 
(hereinafter Order) at  1. 

5 See Advertising Guidelines Dissenting Statement. 

6 In re AT&T's Card Issuer Identification Cards, Letter, 7 FCC 
Rcd 7529 (1992). 
7 I am particularly troubled by the majority's invocation of the 
Joint FCC/FTC Policy Statement Regarding Advertising Guidelines. 
See Order at  15. This is particularly true based on the 
questionable legal foundation of the guidelines. See Weiner v 
Sprint Corp, 165 F.R.D. 431 (D.N.J. 1996), appeal dismissed, Civ. 
No. 96354 (AMW)(May 23, 1996) (holding that there is no duty on 
carriers under the Communications Act to make accurate and 
authentic representations in their promotional practices); Marcus 
v. AT&T Corp., 938 F.Supp. 1158 (S.D.N.Y. 1996) (finding that 
there is no deceptive advertising [read marketing] federal cause 
of action under the Act); and FTC v. Miller, 549 F.2d 452 (7th 
Cir. 1997) (stating that the FTC efforts to regulate advertising 
may reflect a desirable goal, it is not one Congress appears to 
have adopted.) Moreover, because the Advertising Guidelines were 
a part of a policy statement and not a product of formal 
rulemaking, they should not form the basis of any Enforcement 
Bureau action. 

8 Congress has expressly given such regulatory authority to the 
FTC. Telephone Disclosure and Dispute Resolution Act Pub. L. 102-
556, 106 Stat. 4190, (codified at 15 U.S.C.  5701, 5711-5714, 
5721-5724 (1994)). 

9 See Advertising Guidelines Dissenting Statement. 

10 See Order at  18 

11 In fact, Section 414 Communications Act reads "[n]othing in 
this chapter shall in any away abridge or alter the remedies now 
existing at common law or by statute, but the provisions of this 
chapter are in addition to such remedies." See 47 USC  414 In my 
view, this "savings clause" preserves the vitality of these state 
fraud claims In fact, the majority states that it "[w]elcomes 
state efforts to deter slamming." See Order at  15 n. 36. See 
also Southwestern Bell Mobile Systems, FCC 99-356 (Nov. 24, 
1999). The Commission has declined to preempt state "slamming" 
regulations in its Rules Concerning Unauthorized Changes of 
Consumers' Long Distance Carriers. See In the Matter of Policies 
and Rules Concerning Unauthorized Changes of Consumers' Long 
Distance Carriers. 10 FCC Rcd. 9560 P.43. 

_________________________

1    Business Discount Plan, Inc., Notice of Apparent Liability 
for Forfeiture, 14 FCC Rcd 340 (1998) (``BDP NAL'').
2    See Common Carrier Scorecard, Federal Communications 
Commission, Jan. 1999 edition, at 14.
3    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.
4    See 47 C.F.R.  64.1100, 64.1150; 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, First 
Order on Reconsideration, CC Docket No. 94-129, FCC 00-135 (rel. 
May 3, 2000) (Section 258 Reconsideration Order); 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); 
Policies and Rules Concerning Unauthorized Changes of Consumers' 
Long Distance Carriers, 10 FCC Rcd 9560 (1995) (LOA Order), 
stayed in part, 11 FCC Rcd 856 (1995) (In-Bound Stay Order); 
Policies and Rules concerning Changing Long Distance Carriers, 7 
FCC Rcd 1038 (1992) (PIC Change Order), recon. denied, 8 FCC Rcd 
3215 (1993); Investigation of Access and Divestiture-Related 
Tariffs, 101 FCC Rcd 911 (1985) (Allocation Order), recon. 
denied, 102 FCC2d 503 (1985); Investigation of Access and 
Divestiture-Related Tariffs, 101 FCC 2d 935 (Com.Car.Bur. 1985) 
(Waiver Order), recon. denied, 102 FCC 2d 503 (1985).
5    BDP NAL, 14 FCC Rcd at 355.
6    Section 201(b) states in pertinent part that ``all charges, 
practices, classifications, and regulations for and in connection 
with communication service shall be just and reasonable . . . .''  
47 U.S.C.  201(b).
7    BDP NAL, 14 FCC Rcd at 362.  The Commission has authority 
pursuant to section 503(b) of the Act, 47 U.S.C. 503(b), 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.
8    BDP Response to the NAL (``Response'') at 38.
9    Id. (citing section 258(a), 47 U.S.C.  258(a), which 
provides that ``no telecommunications carrier shall submit or 
execute a change in a subscriber's selection of a provider of 
telephone exchange service . . . except in accordance with such 
verification procedures as the Commission shall prescribe.'') 
10   Id.
11   See supra footnote 4.  Specifically, the Commission's rules 
and orders required that interexchange carriers either obtain a 
signed letter of agency from the consumer, or, in the case of 
telemarketing solicitations, complete one of four telemarketing 
verification procedures before submitting preferred carrier 
change requests to local exchange carriers on behalf of 
consumers.  The four alternatives are:  (1) obtain a letter of 
agency from the subscriber; (2) receive confirmation from the 
subscriber via a toll-free number provided exclusively for the 
purpose of confirming change orders electronically; (3) use an 
independent third party to verify the subscriber's order; or, (4) 
send an information package that includes a postpaid postcard 
which the subscriber can use to deny, cancel, or confirm a 
service order, and wait 14 days after mailing the packet before 
submitting the PIC change order.  See 47 C.F.R.  64.1100, 
64.1150; PIC Change Order, 7 FCC Rcd at 1039.
12   See BDP NAL, 14 FCC Rcd at 341.
13   See Joint Explanatory Statement of Managers, S. Conf. Rep. 
No. 104-230, 104th Cong., 2d Sess. Preamble (1996) at 1 (Joint 
Explanatory Statement).  The Act does not define slamming, but 
the Joint Explanatory Statement states that the conference 
agreement adopted the House provision, which refers to slamming 
as ``illegal changes in subscriber selections.''  Joint 
Explanatory Statement at 136.  Prior to the Act, the Commission 
defined slamming as the unauthorized conversion of a consumer's 
interexchange carrier by another interexchange carrier, an 
interexchange resale carrier, or a subcontractor telemarketer.  
Cherry Communications, Inc., Consent Decree, 9 FCC Rcd 2086, 2087 
(1994).
14   The Act defines ``telecommunications carrier'' in pertinent 
part as ``any provider of telecommunications services, except 
that such term does not include aggregators of telecommunications 
services (as defined in section 226).''  47 U.S.C.  153(44).
15   Thus, Congress declared it illegal for both local exchange 
and long distance carriers 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 verification procedures as the Commission shall prescribe.''  
See 47 U.S.C.  258(a). 
16   Id. at 1514.
17   In addition to these new verification rules, the Section 258 
Order adopted liability rules designed to take the profit out of 
slamming.  Section 258 Order, 14 FCC Rcd at 1512.  These 
liability rules were stayed by the United States Court of Appeals 
for the District of Columbia Circuit at the request of MCI 
WorldCom, Inc., but that stay was dissolved on June 27, 2000.  
MCI WorldCom, Inc. v. FCC, No. 99-1125 (D.C. Cir., June 27, 
2000).  In our Section 258 Reconsideration Order, we amended 
certain of our liability rules, granting in part petitions for 
reconsideration of the Section 258 Order.  See Section 258 
Reconsideration Order, CC Docket No. 94-129, FCC 00-135 (rel. May 
3, 2000).
18   See supra paragraph 7.  As the Commission noted when it 
sought comment on rules to implement section 258, the issue 
before us was whether ``existing safeguards against slamming were 
adequate in a marketplace in which carriers can compete for local 
as well as long distance service customers, and where there may 
no longer be an independent third party executing changes in 
subscribers' telecommunications carriers.'' See Further Notice of 
Proposed Rulemaking and Memorandum Opinion and Order on 
Reconsideration, 12 FCC Rcd 10674, 10680 (1997) (Emphasis added).
19   Moreover, Congress was presumptively aware of the 
Commission's existing rules and orders concerning preferred 
carrier change procedures at the time it enacted section 258.  
The evaluation of congressional action must take into account its 
``contemporary legal context,'' which, in this case, includes the 
Commission's existing PIC change rules and orders.  See Cottage 
Sav. Ass'n v. C.I.R., 499 U.S. 554, 561 111 S.Ct. 1503, 1508 
(1991); Cannon v. University of Chicago, 441 U.S. 677, 698-699, 
99 S.Ct. 1946, 1958-1959 (1979).  
20   See, e.g., Brittan Communications International, Inc., Order 
of Forfeiture, 15 FCC Rcd 4852 (2000) (Brittan Forfeiture Order); 
Long Distance Direct, Inc., Memorandum Opinion and Order, 15 FCC 
Rcd 3297 (2000) (Long Distance Direct Forfeiture Order).
21   See Brittan Forfeiture Order, 15 FCC Rcd at 4852; Long 
Distance Direct Forfeiture Order, 15 FCC Rcd at 3297.
22   See 47 U.S.C.  258(a). 
23   Indeed, the record reflects that BDP not only failed to 
follow any of the Commission-prescribed verification procedures, 
but also failed to first obtain the complainants' authorization.  
See BDP NAL, 14 FCC Rcd at 341.  As described in the BDP NAL, 
BDP's telemarketers repeatedly misrepresented the nature of BDP's 
service offering or in other ways engaged in practices designed 
to prevent consumers from understanding that BDP sought to change 
their preferred carriers.  See id.
24   47 U.S.C.  258 (Emphasis added).
25   See, e.g., LaFontant v. I.N.S., 135 F.3d 158, 160 (D.C. Cir. 
1998).  
26   See supra paragraph 8.
27   Response at 39 (citing 47 C.F.R.  64.1100).
28   Id. at 40.
29   Id. at 9-11.   
30   Id. at 41. 
31   Id. at 7-9, 43-44.  
32   Id. at 45.  BDP sent this letter pursuant to the terms of a 
1998 settlement agreement with AT&T, who had sued BDP on the 
grounds that its telemarketers misrepresented that they were 
affiliated with AT&T. See BDP NAL, 14 FCC Rcd at 354 n.63.
33   See, e.g., Response at 12.
34   We find it disingenuous of BDP to suggest that its 
telemarketers' frequent references to AT&T's service were solely 
to satisfy the Commission's policy of encouraging resellers to 
advise consumers of the identity of underlying carriers.  See 
Response at 28.  Taken in the context of BDP's telemarketing 
calls, it is apparent that BDP wanted consumers to believe that 
they were dealing with AT&T or one of its affiliates.  
35   Indeed, the exhibits to BDP's Response belie its claim that 
consumers were meaningfully apprised of a change in long distance 
carriers.  For example, in the verification transcript associated 
with the R&S Complaint, BDP's verifier begins the call as 
follows:  ``The reason we are speaking is to confirm the details 
you discussed regarding your Centel West billing to Business 
Discount Plan one bill service.  Your name is ... and you can 
approve this? . . .[Verifier then checks business name and 
address] . . .  With your permission, if there are any other 
business numbers at your location, they will be included in the 
simplified billing format for you also . . . .'' Response at 10.  
(Emphasis added.)  Thus, the R&S transcript shows that the 
complainant approved a ``one bill service,'' not a change in 
carriers. 
36   Further, as we noted in our NAL, some of BDP's verifiers 
spoke extremely quickly, thus further confusing consumers.  See 
BDP NAL, 14 FCC Rcd at 346.
37   See, e.g., BDP NAL, 14 FCC Rcd at 353 n.62; see also BDP 
NAL, File No. ENF 98-02.
38   See Response at 43-45.
39   See 47 U.S.C.  217; see also Amer-I-Net Services 
Corporation, Order of Forfeiture, 15 FCC Rcd 3118 (2000) (citing 
numerous instances in which the Commission has stated that 
carriers are responsible for the acts of their marketing agents).
40   Response at 20.
41   47 U.S.C.  201(b).
42   As a general matter, the Commission welcomes state efforts 
to deter slamming.  See Section 258 Reconsideration Order, CC 
Docket No. 94-129, FCC 00-135, paras. 22-42 (rel. May 3, 2000); 
Policies and Rules Concerning Unauthorized Changes of Consumer's 
Long Distance Carriers, 10 FCC Rcd 9560, 9583 (1995).
43   See AT&T, 71 RR2d 775 (1992).
44   See Telecommunications Research and Action Center and 
Consumer Action v. Central Corp. et al., 4 FCC Rcd 2157 (Com.Car. 
Bur. 1989).
45   We recently expressly relied on our section 201(b) authority 
in issuing a Joint Policy Statement with the Federal Trade 
Commission concerning the advertising of  ``dial-around'' and 
other long distance services to consumers.  See Joint FCC/FTC 
Policy Statement For the Advertising of Dial-Around And Other 
Long Distance Services To Consumers, Policy Statement, FCC 00-72 
(Mar. 1, 2000).  
46   Response at 25.
47   See supra paragraph 2.
48   Response at 26.
49   Id. at 26-27.
50   See BDP NAL, 14 FCC Rcd at 357-358, 353 n.61.
51   Response at 31-33.
52   See id. at 34-37.
53   See, e.g., Vista Group International, Inc., Notice of 
Apparent Liability for Forfeiture, 14 FCC Rcd 13814, 13824 (1999) 
(Vista NAL); CCN, Inc., 13 FCC Rcd 13599, 13600 (1998) (CCN 
Revocation Order).
54   Response at 11-13.
55   Id. at 37.
56   Response at 45-47.  According to BDP, the proposed 
forfeiture constitutes a civil penalty that is ``punitive in 
nature,'' and therefore, subject to the Excessive Fines Clause of 
the Eighth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.  Id. at 47.
57   Id. at 48-49 (citing 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 (1997), recon. denied, 15 FCC Rcd 303 (1999) 
(Forfeiture Policy Statement)).
58    See 47 U.S.C.  503(b)(2)(D); see also Forfeiture Policy 
Statement, 12 FCC Rcd at 17099.
59   These criteria include the egregiousness of the misconduct, 
ability or inability to pay, whether the violation was an 
intentional violation, 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.  
See Forfeiture Policy Statement, 12 FCC Rcd at 17099.  
60   See, e.g., All American Telephone Company, Inc., Notice of 
Apparent Liability for Forfeiture, 13 FCC Rcd 15040, 15041 
(1998); Brittan Forfeiture Order, 15 FCC Rcd at 4854; Amer-I-Net 
Services Corp., Order of Forfeiture, 15 FCC Rcd 3118 (2000).  
Subsequent to the release of the BDP NAL, the Commission applied 
the ``upward adjustment criteria'' in the forfeiture guidelines 
to find Vista Group International, Inc. apparently liable for 
$80,000 for each unauthorized conversion that was compounded by 
evidence that the carrier engaged in unjust and unreasonable 
telemarketing practices.   See Vista NAL, 14 FCC Rcd  at 13829.
61   See Forfeiture Policy Statement, 12 FCC Rcd at 17099.
62   BDP NAL, 14 FCC Rcd at 362.
63   Id.
64   See Response at 48-49.  
65   Indeed, although BDP's deceptive marketing practices were 
closely related to its slamming conduct, the two violations are 
separate and distinct.  BDP could have slammed the complainants 
without misrepresenting the nature of its service offering, and 
it could have misrepresented its service offering without 
slamming the complainants.  The fact that it did both militates 
strongly in favor of assessing an overall forfeiture amount 
greater than the standard amount for slamming.
66   See Response at 48.
67   Response at 50.
68   See, e.g., Brittan  Forfeiture Order, 15 FCC Rcd at 4854 
(noting that the Commission seeks ``to deter companies from 
engaging in the illegal act of slamming and will employ the 
necessary forfeiture penalties to encourage compliance with 
Commission rules and orders''); Nationwide Long Distance, Inc., 
Notice of Apparent Liability, 11 FCC Rcd 3087 (1996).
69   47 U.S.C.  503(b)(6)(B).
70   See Letter from Greg L. Eriksen, Counsel for BDP, to Kathie 
A. Kneff, Informal Complaints and Public Inquiries Branch, 
Enforcement Division, Common Carrier Bureau (Aug. 7, 1998).
71   Response at 40.  
72   See Response & Exhibits A - H.
73   Response at 50 n.15.
74   We note that on May 17, 2000, the Connecticut Department of 
Public Utility Control (``DPUC'') determined that BDP had engaged 
in slamming and imposed a fine of $50,000 on the company.  The 
DPUC found, among other things, that BDP had deceived customers 
by representing or implying that they would remain with their 
existing long distance service providers after choosing BDP's 
bill consolidation service.  See In re. Application of the 
Attorney General to Revoke or Suspend Business Discount Plan, 
Inc.'s Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity, Docket 
No. 98-11-16 (May 17, 2000).
75   See CCN Revocation Order, 13 FCC Rcd at 13599 (revoking the 
Fletcher Companies' section 214 operating authority for slamming 
and other violations of the Act and Commission rules).