When Telephone Companies Scam

“Competing by cheating has become a way of life for … many of these corporations, many of the most reputable of them. Because it’s done by AT&T, MCI, or Sprint, people are reluctant to use that word, but when all is said and done … these are scams.”

– Connecticut attorney general Richard Blumenthal in a 200160 Minutes interview, and used as preface for Gotcha Capitalism. Blumenthal has sued AT&T and Qwest for slamming. In AT&T’s case, they sent bills to people who weren’t their customers and in Qwest’s, they stole competitors customers by forging the customer’s signatures and switching them without their consent.


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  1. Buran says:

    “forging the consumers customers”?

  2. falc says:

    for those of you who didnt get a chance to hear Terry Gross’s interview of Bob Sullivan, author of Gotcha Capitalism, it is well worth a listen. the subject matter is right up The Consumerist’s alley. the link is: [www.npr.org]
    and be sure to click on the ‘Listen Now’ link at the top of the article.

  3. calvinneal says:

    This is six years ago. ATT was a distinct company from SBC etc etc. Gotcha Capitalism is a fact; however, using examples of companies that are de-facto defunct is just confusing.

  4. forever_knight says:

    @calvinneal: confusing but fact.

  5. accessmemorex says:

    ***ALERT*** Companies are going to be losing allot of money over the next year. They will do whatever possible to avoid that. Heed caution! They will do whatever it takes. Whats does this mean for you? You need to check every penny that you spend. Every dollar that goes out. Did you know if you steal from a store you will get arrested and prosecuted. Yet when they steal from you, you get less than an apology. Send them a message you will not support this.
    The question isn’t will they screw you but how. Don’t let them scam you. Be vigilant check your paperwork. and don’t feel bad if you have to escalate. Its your money. “Its only going to get worse”.
    Best of Luck.***ALERT***

  6. Do_They_Get_It says:

    Funny, been slammed several times over the years.

    Had company password protect, blocked changes etc… nothing. I was told when request for changes come by magnetic media, all these “safe guards” do not work.

    I complained to my AG, they sent me a form…then nothing. Although I was able to get the switching charges dropped…now if only they could pay me for my time.

    I am now attempting security thru obsecurity (that 555 number for forms where phone is requried). Haven’t been slammed since.

  7. Doc Benway says:

    @calvinneal: Do you think the modus operandi changes? AT&T is still conducting business the way it did before it was Cingular and before it was SBC and AT&T. Ma Bell was broken into pieces and somehow managed to reform itself back into the same bullying giant it was before the break up. Do you remember when you couldn’t plug anything but an AT&T phone into your wall socket?

  8. Xapa says:

    I’ve been screwed by Sprint SO many times…