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Roundtable: Reaction to FCC Scolding Verizon

The FCC voted, 4-1, that Verizon used unfair retention practices to keep customers from switching to cable companies by offering discounts and American Express reward cards.

Several government and industry leaders weighed in on the decision.

“[This] action underscores long-held commission policy that using proprietary customer information for marketing efforts cannot take place during the window of time when a customer’s phone number is being switched to a new provider.”

–FCC Commissioner Robert McDowell

“The old adage that ‘Cheaters never win and winners never cheat’ comes to mind in thinking about Verizon’s conduct.”

–Richard Ramlall, RCN Corp. senior vice president of Strategic External Affairs

“The majority has created new law, holding that these complainants are ‘telecommunications carriers’ for purposes of obtaining this competitive advantage, but that they are not ‘telecommunications carriers’ for other purposes, such as complying with the obligations of telecommunications carriers.”

–FCC Chairman Kevin Martin

“Verizon’s illegal practices distorted the market to its advantage, making it harder for law-abiding cable operators to compete, particularly those who are small and medium-sized.”

–Matthew Polka, American Cable Association president and CEO


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