Arkansas sues Consumer Telcom over long distance charges to consumers


Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel has sued Henderson, Nev.-based Consumer Telcom, Inc. alleging that the telecommunications company continued to charge Arkansas consumers even after they had canceled their long distance service.

The suit alleges that CTI violated Arkansas' Deceptive Trade Practices Act by making it difficult for consumers to cancel their services. The company bills itself as a low-cost provider to consumers.

According to the suit, customers who tried to change their long distance provider by calling Consumer Telcom or a local phone service provider were billed the full amount of Consumer Telcom's bundled services.

Many customers did not know they were still being billed because charges were included in the bundled services. Consumer Telcom claims that its customers are bound by an agreement that requires them to let the company know they want the entire bundle canceled, according to the attorney general. But the office alleges the company doesn't provide consumers with a copy of the agreement so they can read it before switching long-distance providers.

"Arkansas customers of CTI should be able to cancel CTI's services without having to say the magic words required by 'contract' they didn't get the opportunity to see, read or accept," McDaniel said in a statement. "This company should honor cancellation requests however they are made."

Representatives of Consumer Telcom could be immediately reached for comment.