Phone company settles with AG over 'slamming'
Staff Report | November 05,2012
MONTPELIER - A San Francisco company will refund a total of $66,000 to 375 Vermont businesses that were "slammed" for Internet access and website services on their local telephone bills, the Vermont Attorney General's Office announced Monday.
Under the terms of the settlement with Local Area Yellow Pages LLC, businesses will receive full refunds and the company will pay a penalty of $10,000 to the state.
According to the state, Local Area Yellow Pages failed to comply with a law that requires a mailed notice of charges to the business. The company also allegedly misrepresented the purpose of telephone solicitations, according to the attorney general's office.
Because most consumers are unaware that they can be billed through their local telephone company for a service unrelated to their telephone service, the law requires written notification before a consumer is billed.
Vermont law now bans most so-called third-party charges on landline telephone bills.
The settlement is the 23rd of its kind in the attorney general's multi-year investigation of "cramming," or the placing of unauthorized charges for third-party services on consumers' telephone bills.
For more information, contact the attorney general's office at 828-5507.