For Immediate Release July 8, 2001 For more information, contact Eli Mantel, +1 650-493-7228
They've earned the honor this time by subjecting customers to an increase in their calling card rates from 10¢ a minute to 69¢ a minute, without providing customers with any advanced notice of the rate increase.
Unannounced long distance rate changes have technically been legal, because such rates are filed with the FCC or the state public utilities commission. But a rate change of this size is unusual. Combined with the failure to notify customers, the Cagey Consumer considers this action to be unconscionable.
New rules announced by the FCC in February will end the "notice by tariff" procedure in August, so this rate change sneaked in under the wire. The effectiveness of the new rules has already been questioned, as some long distance carriers indicate they will offer only "notice by web posting". As a result, many customers will not become aware of rate changes until they receive bills reflecting the higher rates.