Qwest Pays $1.5 Million To End FCC Slamming Inquiry

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Qwest Communications International Inc. said last week it settled slamming complaints issued by the Federal Communications Commission by making a payment of $1.5 million.

The telecommunications company said the accusations of slamming -- switching customers' phone service without their permission -- resulted from instances that occurred more than a year ago, before Qwest instituted an array of slamming protections.

The FCC last year sought $2 million in fines from Qwest for allegedly slamming 30 consumers. The agency accused Qwest, Denver, and a company it acquired, LCI International Telecom Corp., of falsifying letters to authorize the switching of long-distance service.

In addition to introducing more monitoring procedures to verify its sales, Qwest also fired several of its sales agents and telemarketing agencies last year when it began investigating the complaints.

Earlier this year Qwest paid $175,000 to settle a lawsuit filed by the Arizona attorney general, alleging that the company slammed consumers in that state.

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