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MCI to Face 'Dial-Around' Fine

March 01, 2000|Washington Post

WASHINGTON — The Federal Communications Commission plans to announce today that it has fined MCI WorldCom Inc. $100,000 for what regulators deem misleading and incomplete advertisements touting the company's "dial-around" long-distance service, knowledgeable sources said. The FCC's enforcement action will give an edge to a joint announcement--also today--with the Federal Trade Commission, which will outline new advertising guidelines the two agencies have drafted for companies that market dial-around services--numbers beginning with 10-10. Such services allow customers to bypass their regular long-distance providers.

Many of the ads entice customers with prices that seem much lower than standard rates. But what goes left unsaid, or is disclosed only in ultra-fine print, frequently results in bills that are alarmingly expensive. MCI WorldCom officials declined to comment.

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