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SCAMS, CRAMS AND LAMBS: A Lamb’s-Eye View (NARUC Annual Meeting, San Francisco CA 11/16/14) David C. Bergmann Telecom Policy Consulting for Consumers

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Presentation on theme: "SCAMS, CRAMS AND LAMBS: A Lamb’s-Eye View (NARUC Annual Meeting, San Francisco CA 11/16/14) David C. Bergmann Telecom Policy Consulting for Consumers"— Presentation transcript:

1 SCAMS, CRAMS AND LAMBS: A Lamb’s-Eye View (NARUC Annual Meeting, San Francisco CA 11/16/14) David C. Bergmann Telecom Policy Consulting for Consumers tpc4c.biz

2  This is bad behavior, from most perspectives. Hard to justify.  Not part of the “virtuous cycle”; large and small carriers (AT&T Wireless, TerraCom/YourTel); so much for competition protecting consumers; new wolves in new skins  All harm the consumer.  Describe the ecosystem? SCAMS AND CRAMS David C. Bergmann, Telecom Policy Consulting for Consumers2

3  Those who a) grow up to get fleeced or b) get sold to the butcher or c) get eaten by the wolf in a sheepskin suit.  Competition is among shearers, meat dealers, and wolves (large and small)  The analogy is not right, and insults both consumers and lambs. We have state consumer advocates (in some places), state regulators (in some places), state legislatures (in some places), the FCC and the FTC (not duplicative), and the courts to protect us.  As Gavroche sang, “We may look easy pickings, but we’ve got some bite.” WHO ARE THE LAMBS? David C. Bergmann, Telecom Policy Consulting for Consumers3

4  Scams are stealing - from the consumer or from the government - by lying about the service  Spoofing is lying about identity of the sender  Rural call completion failure is the result of lying about the capabilities of your service  Carrier abuse of Lifeline was a scam. May still be close to a scam to the extent the $9.25 federal support amount significantly exceeds the cost of providing limited minutes (or text messages).  Also TRS  The USF strike force should be directed at carriers David C. Bergmann, Telecom Policy Consulting for Consumers4 Scams

5  Placing a charge on a customer’s bill that the customer has not agreed to  Demands the question: Is third-party billing necessary?  A slam is a cram and a scam: switching the customer’s carrier without consent Crams David C. Bergmann, Telecom Policy Consulting for Consumers5

6  Calling a person on the DNC list is breaking the law, for profit. It may also be spoofing. It’s also a plague of modern life. Is it also one reason to drop a traditional landline?  Likewise, robo-calling should be seen as breaking the law (see FCC Enforcement Advisory DA )  Phone hacking is also breaking the law.  Proper penalties are needed, with strong enforcement, for all this stuff (see FCC Staff report on 4/ Outage) David C. Bergmann, Telecom Policy Consulting for Consumers6 OTHER

7  Reasonable consumer expectations should be the law of the land, not the jungle. Otherwise, we systemically condone not meeting those consumer expectations.  Violations of consumer privacy are violations of consumer expectation. (See FCC Notice on TerraCom and YourTel.)  Text-to-911 is also a new reasonable customer expectation. CUSTOMER EXPECTATIONS David C. Bergmann, Telecom Policy Consulting for Consumers7

8  Our moderator proposed, I counted, 15 subject areas for the panel. I managed to get 14 of the 15 in.  One I couldn’t get in was ILEC abandonment of copper. It’s not a slam, or a cram. It’s an attempt to ram the ILEC business plan onto the public interest. David C. Bergmann, Telecom Policy Consulting for Consumers8 End thoughts

9  David C. Bergmann, Telecom Policy Consulting for Consumers  tpc4c.com  David C. Bergmann, Telecom Policy Consulting for Consumers9 Contact info


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