Buzz Telecom Good At Confusing Ancient People From Iowa

The Iowa Attorney General is warning people that they may have been fooled by an Indiana-based phone company.

Utility Consumer Advocate John Perkins says Buzz Telecom has been fooling Iowans into switching their phone service through a fast-paced and confusing sales pitch.

Perkins says the Buzz representatives target elderly people and will tell the people that they represent their local telephone company. Perkins says once Buzz switches your telephone service over to their service, then they add on extra charges.

Buzz is doing what industry people call “slamming” and “cramming.” Slamming is switching your long distance service without your consent. Cramming is putting unauthorized charges on your bill.

Attorney General Tom Miller says the amount of complaints in this case really sent out a warning signal.

A 150 complaints is a huge, huge number, let me tell ya,” Miller says, “that’s why we’re hear today as sort of a red flag for consumers to be looking at their bills, either from their regular carrier, or from Buzz Telecom.

Something messed up on your bill, Iowa? Call the Iowa Consumer Advocate at: 515-281-5984.—MEGHANN MARCO

A-G, Consumer Advocate say company “slamming, cramming” phone customers
[Radio Iowa]

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  1. CinemaDude says:

    Gee, at least they make an effort to get the customer to agree to the change voluntarily, albeit by deception and skulldugary. AT&T, on the other hand, doesn’t bother with such niceities — they just slam you without so much as a “Howdy, partner.” How they can do this without your consent and with nary an objection from the local phone company that has to make the change is the mystery. How they can do this without breaking like half a dozen laws is also a question, but they seem to be able to do this as easily as taking candy from a baby.

    When I asked my local carrier (Verizon) how can this happen without their direct or at the very least, indirect collusion, I was given unintelligible babbelings. Seems to me, the local phone company has to bear SOME responsibility for allowing a second company (AT&T) to be able to make changes to one of Verizon’s subscribers. They don’t think they do.

    Rule of thumb, just hang up on ANY telephone solicitation, no matter how sincere they sound. I simply never give them the chance to get in the first sentence of their thieving pitch; just hang up on them mid-sentence, or better yet, install an answering maching and/or a Caller ID unit and let anyone you don’t recognize talk to the machine. Then at your leisure you can decide if you want to talk to the bloodsucking scum.

    Lastly, most local phone companies allow you to “Lock” your Long Distance carrier, even if you have opted to have no LD carrier at all (use the prepaid cards or the Penny-per-Minute guys instead which usually are WAY cheaper than the traditional companies). You sign up to have your phone number “locked” so that no company can slam you unless you authorize a change. It baffles me that that isn’t the NORM, rather than you having to initiate it, but it’s the hook they make you jump thru in order for them to stay honest. And it’s no surprise that the phone companies keep this locking service a secret. Call your local and ask them to lock yours immediately.

    When it comes to telephone companies, it serves you well to always think of them as not wanting to make life easier for you. Know thine enemy.

  2. JT says:

    If only we could all file complaints against our credit card companies (those of us who have the misfortune of having a credit card company). Instead of switching you, they just all merge into one giant company. Then they Slam you through attrition and cram on the interest.