A telephone services provider that was sold to a new company has been fined $700,000 by the Iowa Utilities Board for some old practices. Utilities Board spokesman, Rob Hillesland, says Ultimate Medium Communications Corporation (U-M-C-C) purchased Buzz Telcom in 2006.
Hillesland says Buzz Telecom was found to commit "slamming" and "cramming" against Iowa customers. "Slamming" is when a telephone company changes a customer’s preferred long distance or local telephone provider without the customer’s permission, and "cramming" happens when a company causes unauthorized charges to appear on a customer’s telephone bill.
Hillesland says U-M-C-C was found guilty of 70 violations and fined the maximum of 10-thousand dollars for each one. He says the company also failed to follow Utilities Board orders as well as board rules to be a certified service provider in the state. Hillesland says the board action pulls the plug on U-M-C-C.
Hillesland says they definitely will not be operating in Iowa, and the company may not even have the assets to pay all the penalties. Hillesland says you should check your phone bill every month for unauthorized charges, and report them to the Iowa Utilities Board.