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Lobbyist Money Help  

Report cites Southwestern Bell with gouging customers

October 5, 1999
By: Lee McGuire
State Capital Bureau

A new report says Southwestern Bell is overcharging Missouri telephone customers by almost ten million dollars a year. Lee McGuire has more from Jefferson City.

The Allegheny institute bases its findings on an FCC report out in December, which says Southwestern Bell has claimed more than a hundred million dollars in equipment it doesn't even own. Written up as an expense over five years, that may have pushed telephone rates up.

Allegheny director Jake Haulk says Southwestern Bell has used the higher rates to charge Missourians an extra six dollars a year on their phone bills.

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Contents: [106K WAV file - Haulk says it's not something to get worked up over, but it's still important because SBC doesn't have the right to the money.]

A spokesman for Southwestern Bell said he could not immediately respond to the report. In Jefferson City, Lee McGuire, KMOX News.


Southwestern Bell is overcharging Missouri customers by about ten million dollars a year, according to a new report. Lee McGuire has the story from Jefferson City.

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In an attempt to promote deregulation in the telephone industry, the Allegheny Institute released a report claiming Southwestern Bell is manipulating federal laws to make a profit.

A spokesman for Southwestern Bell could not immediately respond to those charges.

In December, the FCC released a report that said the telephone company had not maintained adequate records.

Allegheny director Jake Haulk says that's resulted in phone bills about six dollars a year higher than they should be:

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Contents: He says it's not a lot, but it's important.

The Allegheny report says Southwestern Bell has claimed it owns more than a hundred million dollars in equipment that doesn't exist, pushing phone bills higher. In Jefferson City, Lee McGuire, KMOX News.