Slamming The Slammers

How do you put a chokehold on "slammers," the unscrupulous phone marketers who switch your long-distance service without your approval? Here's an easy way to protect yourself: Send a letter to your local phone company asking for a "PIC (Primary Interexchange Carrier) freeze." The freeze prevents anyone from switching your long-distance carrier without your approval--a problem that generated 1,900 complaints to the Federal Trade Commission over the past 12 months. Another handy trick: Dial toll-free 700 555-4141 to learn exactly what long-distance carrier you're using now. (Here's hoping you're not surprised at the answer.)

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