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Inter Continental Banned in 'Slamming' Case

April 02, 1998|Associated Press

A long-distance telephone company has been banned from California for three years and ordered to refund $547,000 to customers for taking over their service without their consent, the state Public Utilities Commission said. Inter Continental Telephone Corp., based in San Diego, was the target of 66,811 complaints from customers who said they had been "slammed," or involuntarily transferred to the company's service, between 1994 and 1997, the PUC reported. The commission said the company has already repaid about $589,000 to California customers over a 3 1/2-year period. The new order, part of a settlement with the PUC, requires an additional $547,000 refund. The company must notify all customers who filed slamming complaints that they can seek a refund of all money they paid to Inter Continental, the PUC said. If the claimed refunds fall short of $547,000, the rest will be divided among customers whose previous refunds were less than the amount they paid. The company also agreed to spend $100,000 on newspaper ads to notify customers. Charles Deem, a lawyer for the company, said that Inter Continental didn't admit any wrongdoing.

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