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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 13, 2005
CONTACT: Patricia Van Gerpen, South Dakota Public Utilities Commission, telephone (605) 773-3201
PUC warns of increase in phone slamming attempts
The South Dakota Public Utilities Commission is cautioning South Dakotans about increased reports of telephone slamming schemes
Slamming is the unauthorized and illegal switching of a consumer's telephone service. Oftentimes, the telecommunications providers using these tactics make misleading statements and deceptive offers when contacting consumers. Offers range from prizes to rebates to discounted services. South Dakota law requires that a provider obtain either a written request or an audio-taped verification of a consumer's request for a change before the switch is completed.
Several South Dakota businesses have been contacted via phone by telephone service representatives in the past two weeks. These representatives claim they are contacting the business because of a billing error. The representatives are using one of two stories. They are either saying that a judge ordered the company to contact the businesses involved and have them verify information. Or they are claiming that the order came from the Federal Communications Commission. South Dakotans representing several businesses have contacted the PUC to report this illegal activity.
Anyone that is contacted by a telephone provider with a similar or suspicious claim is urged to take down the phone number as well as other available information and relay this to the PUC.
Contact the PUC by calling (800) 332-1782 or e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
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