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AT&T TRICKS ITS NEW CUSTOMERS

AT&T is attempting to fool its new customers into letting AT&T send letters which prevent the other long distant companies from contacting them. "Now you've got the last word!", so says a manipulative letter from AT&T to new customers.

AT&T promises to send a letter to MCI saying, "I do not want to be called by your company." What AT&T does not tell their new customers is that this could prevent them from learning of cheaper and better offers from the smaller companies due to F.C.C. regulations governing marketing of phone services.

"It's anticompetitive," an MCI spokesman told the Wall Street Journal. AT&T "wins by creating inertia in the market," he said. "They've got tons of customers who will not switch, and the more they can put customers in that category, the more they win," he adds.

Being that AT&T's rates are among the highest, AT&T certainly doesn't want anyone to hear from the competition. "This is a shame because AT&T's essentially ripping off their customers by leaving them in the dark. AT&T preys on people who trust them, and that's a tragedy," said a spokesman from Fiberlink Telecom.

AT&T refused to tell the Wall Street Journal how many customers it cajoled with this zany idea, a February 1996 Journal article said.