A Michigan-based long-distance telephone company is being banned from ever doing business in Iowa again for “slamming” customers. The company called “Basic Long Distance” is ordered to pay a 35-thousand dollar fine for switching people’s long-distance service without their consent. Bob Brammer, spokesman for the Iowa Attorney General, says telemarketers were tricky in how they asked customers about changing their long distance service.The company’s name was also intentionally confusing, says Brammer, since “Basic Long Distance” may show up on a bill and not really resemble a company name. He says the company is also being ordered to pay refunds to an undetermined number of Iowans who were slammed.Brammer says people have to stay vigilant when their phone bills arrive in the mailbox.Iowans who think they’ve been slammed by Basic Long Distance should call the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division at (515) 281-5926.
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