FCC fines for unauthorized carrier changes and consumer billing

Eric Kuhnke eric.kuhnke at gmail.com
Fri Apr 23 15:51:14 UTC 2021

Did the FCC ever collect its $50 million from "Sandwich Isles
Telecommunications" for blatant fraud?  At this scale I wonder how or why
certain people are not in federal prison.



V. ORDERING CLAUSES69. Accordingly,IT IS ORDEREDthat Sandwich Isles
Communications, Inc., Waimana Enterprises, Inc., and Albert S.N. Hee,
pursuant to section 220(d) of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended,
and section 1.80 of the Commission’s rules,293ARE JOINTLY AND SEVERALLY LIABLE
FOR A MONETARY FORFEITUREin the amount of forty-nine million, five hundred
and ninety-eight thousand, and four hundred and forty-eight dollars
($49,598,448) for violating the Act and the Commission’s rules.70. Payment
of the forfeiture shall be made in the manner provided for in section 1.80
of the Commission’s rules within thirty (30) calendar days after the release
of this Forfeiture Order.29

On Fri, Apr 23, 2021 at 8:44 AM Sean Donelan <sean at donelan.com> wrote:

> The FCC has a poor record of actually collecting money from Notices of
> Apparent Liability (i.e. fines).  There are flaws in the FCC notification
> rules, but it does have some rules requiring indpendent verification of
> carrier changes.
> FCC Fines Tele Circuit $4,145,000 for Cramming & Slamming Violations
> https://www.fcc.gov/document/fcc-fines-tele-circuit-4145000-cramming-slamming-violations-0
> FCC fines Tele Circuit Network Corporation $4,145,000 for switching
> consumers from their preferred carrier to Tele Circuit without permission
> and adding unauthorized charges to consumers' bill
> In this Order, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC or Commission)
> adopts the findings in the Notice of Apparent Liability (Tele Circuit
> Notice or Notice) that Tele Circuit Network Corporation (Tele Circuit or
> Company) engaged in slamming and cramming, made misrepresentations to
> consumers, and violated a Commission order by failing to produce certain
> information and documents relating to the Company’s business practices.
> The Company’s misconduct  harmed elderly and infirm consumers, in some
> cases leaving them without telephone service for extended periods of
> time—with Tele Circuit refusing to reinstate service until the crammed
> charges were paid in full. These practices violated sections 201(b) and
> 258 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended (the Act), and section
> 64.1120 of the Commission’s rules. After reviewing Tele Circuit’s response
> to the Notice, we decline to find that the Company violated section
> 1.17(a)(2) of the Commission’s rules and reduce the proposed penalty by
> $1,178,322, and therefore impose a forfeiture of $4,145,000.
> [...]
> In particular, Tele Circuit did not provide proof that the complainants
> listed in the LOI authorized Tele Circuit to switch their long distance
> carrier. In response to the LOI, Tele Circuit did produce some
> third-party verification recordings,31 which are supposed to provide
> evidence that customers assented to changing their long distance service
> from their existing carriers to Tele Circuit. However, some
> complainants who listened to the recordings alleged that the third-party
> verifications were falsified. In all, the Bureau reviewed more than 100
> written consumer complaints, contacted numerous complainants, obtained
> substantial documentary evidence (including copies of consumer telephone
> bills), listened to third-partyverification recordings, and received data
> from consumers’ carriers.
> [...]
>   Tele Circuit switched the telephone service of 24 consumers without
> verified authorization to do so, in violation of section 258 of the Act
> and section 64.1120 of the Commission’s rules.
> [...]
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