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Another phone flimflam?

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The community needs to be warned about yet another flimflam going on with long-distance service companies.

On Thursday, Nov. 6, I made a purchase at Radio Shack in Sugar House and signed nothing but the charge slip, using my full legal name. On Saturday, Nov. 15, I received a letter from SPRINT thanking me for "choosing" it as my long-distance provider. I immediately called SPRINT's consumer service representative and demanded to know how and why I was receiving a welcoming letter addressing me by my informal name, which the Radio Shack salesman had casually asked me, and written on my cash register receipt.SPRINT told me that Radio Shack has forms available and authority to sign up customers for them and they had got my name from them. They also told me I would have to call US WEST and AT&T to rescind my permission - which I point out I had never given. Then I called the salesman at Radio Shack in Sugar House, who was very wary and devious about my questions.

The next Monday I was put to the trouble of calling US WEST and AT&T. Today, I called the district office of Radio Shack to demand an explanation for its salesman's actions. They told me their stores do have application forms for SPRINT, and they would investigate how an application form was made out without my knowledge and my name obviously forged.

Add this to your list of ways long-distance companies (in this case with the collusion of a local reputable store) are getting into your business, and you are put to the trouble of getting the resulting mess undone.

H. O'Neil Bettinson

Salt Lake City