Slamming is the practice by some U.S. long-distance phone carriers of switching users to their service without the user's knowledge or authorization. Southwestern Bell, a local carrier, reports that they received calls about slamming from 558,000 customers in 1997. Slamming methods include "free trials" and offers for credit cards that offer prize or give-away points for each dollar of charges from a given carrier. Phone solicitors often get "approval" from children, baby-sitters, and domestic employees. Occasionally, your carrier may be switched if your current carrier has been sold to another company. If your carrier is switched, there may be a $5-6 switching charge on your bill. Unless you agreed to the switch, you do not have to pay the charge.

You can find out who your current long-distance carrier is by calling 700-555-4141, toll-free.

This was last updated in April 2005

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