Long Distance Switching/Slamming
Slamming is the practice of switching your long distance telephone carrier without your permission. Sometimes, the new long distance company switches you to their service without ever contacting you. Other times, telemarketers try to trick you into switching. For example, a telemarketer may pretend to work for your current phone company and then try to sell you a new calling plan at a steep discount.
Read your phone bill carefully every month to make sure your service has not been switched without your permission.
Use caution if you talk to telemarketers. Pay close attention to anything a “third party verifier” says to you after you have spoken with the telemarketer. Ask questions if you are confused. If you answer “yes” to questions you don’t fully understand, the company may later claim that you agreed to the change.
Read the fine print if you fill out contest entry forms or if you sign and deposit promotional checks. Sometimes these documents state that you are authorizing a change in your telephone service.
Request a freeze from your current phone company. If you later want to switch carriers, you will have to contact your local carrier to remove the freeze.
If your phone service gets switched, call the company that did it and tell them that you want the problem fixed. If you have not paid their bill, tell them that you will not pay for the first 30 days of service. Let your authorized phone company (local or long distance) know that you’ve been slammed. Tell them that you want to get your previous calling plan back.
File a complaint. Complaints related to slamming should be filed with the Public Staff of the North Carolina Utilities Commission. The Utilities Commission is the agency in North Carolina that enforces federal rules about switching of long distance service.
Contact the Utilities Commission’s Public Staff at:
Consumer Services Division
4326 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, North Carolina
We Can Help
If you’ve complained to the NC Utilities Commission Public Staff but still need help, contact us or call toll free within North Carolina at 1-877-5-NO-SCAM.