Phone company banned in Oregon

Bryan Cohen Jun. 8, 2011, 1:40am


SALEM, Ore. (Legal Newsline) - Oregon Attorney General John Kroger announced an agreement on Wednesday that bans a California-based long distance telephone company from doing business in Oregon.

The Oregon Department of Justice and the Public Utility Commission alleged that United Telecom Inc. was involved in misconduct, including "slamming," in which a company transfers long distance telephone services without prior or proper authorization.

"Oregon businesses face enough challenges in today's economic climate without being taken advantage of by service providers," Kroger said. "The Public Utility Commission was a crucial partner in this action to protect Oregon small businesses."

As part of the agreement, United Telecom agreed to cease operation as a provider of telecommunications services in Oregon within 90 days and to formally withdraw its certification of authority. The company must refrain from soliciting any new Oregon customers and must provide refunds to customers who filed alleged complaints with Kroger's office. The company also paid costs to Kroger's office.

"This case highlights the value of people bringing issues like this to the PUC. One complaint may seem insignificant, but they help shine the light on unscrupulous operators. Fortunately, we are able to combine our efforts with the Attorney General to protect Oregon consumers. We are pleased with this outcome," Phil Boyle, manager of the Oregon Public Utility Commission Consumer Section, said.

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