Thursday, March 17, 2005

SBC labled as Mafia Goons!

Has SBC Embarked on a Smear Campaign? Asks Transcom
“Communications Giant Engages in Goon-style Practices”
Says Irving-based Transcom Enhanced Services

IRVING, Texas – March 17, 2005 – The following was released today by Transcom Enhanced Services: A good old-fashioned David-and-Goliath fight between Transcom Enhanced Services and SBC is brewing down in the Lone Star State. When the dust settles, one of the biggest communications providers in the nation could be exposed for engaging in predatory business practices and may end up heading home with its tail between its legs.

We join our story already in progress in Texas, where, just a few weeks ago, Transcom was forced to file for bankruptcy. Why would an otherwise successful enhanced services provider with unique technology and a solid business plan take such action? It’s a direct result of the powerful spin machine that is SBC’s legal department. Although “legal” isn’t really an accurate term to describe the practices SBC has engaged in since it decided to make Transcom (and several other companies like Transcom) its whipping boy(s) a few months ago.

“I think the general public might be surprised and disappointed to learn that SBC trades in the kind of threats, coercion and intimidation tactics commonly used by mafia goons,” said Transcom CEO Scott Birdwell. “They bullied us and our customers and tried to destroy everything we’ve worked for, but we refused to lay down and take it like the dogs SBC wants us to be.”

The feud between the companies stems from access charges SBC falsely claims it is owed. Using an FCC ruling targeted specifically against AT&T, SBC has embarked on a systematic and malevolent plan to extend said ruling arbitrarily in an attempt to eliminate competitors. The FCC ruling does not apply to Transcom, and, even though SBC has been shown that the ruling does not apply to Transcom, the enhanced service provider apparently is such a threat to SBC that the telecom giant has gone after Transcom’s customers and suppliers anyway. Claiming the FCC ruling against AT&T as evidence of “illegal” and “unlawful” conduct on the part of Transcom, SBC spread false accusations among Transcom’s customers and suppliers. As a result, some of these third parties have been scared away or otherwise ceased doing business with Transcom.

Adding insult to injury is the fact that SBC has sued to collect the aforementioned charges from Texas-based Transcom by filing suit in a civil court in Missouri. That’s right – Missouri, a state that is the home base for none of the involved parties. In fact, though SBC has limited ties to Missouri, its headquarters and a great many of its assets are located in Texas.

“Spend any time at all listening to the SBC marketing hype, and you’ll hear them try to convince you that they’re proud Texans, but at the first hint of trouble, they go running to Missouri,” Birdwell said. “Real Texans have a two-word phrase for that kind of behavior – the first word is ‘horse,’ and the second word isn’t fit to print, so we’ll say ‘manure.’”

“This Missouri thing is just another example of how SBC has gone out of its way to make this the most difficult, most lengthy, most expensive process possible,” Birdwell said. “If they’re allowed to continue this behavior, they’ll do away with competition and freedom of choice. At that point, it probably won’t be long before they use the ‘difficult, lengthy, expensive’ approach on their customers.”

It is important to remember that SBC’s blatant disregard of the facts concerning the FCC’s ruling is not targeted solely at Transcom. SBC has a number of enhanced service providers in its crosshairs. It is likely that SBC’s ultimate hope is to destroy these companies or tie them up in legal proceedings long enough for the communications provider to develop its own enhanced services. The end result is reduced competition, which only serves to support future SBC rate hikes – to the detriment of its millions of customers.

“If SBC is allowed to continue using these tactics, it’s a step toward monopoly and a dark day for all of us – not just here in Texas, but all over this great nation,” Birdwell said. “I just hope it doesn’t come to that.”

About Transcom Enhanced Services
Transcom Enhanced Services (TES) is a leading enhanced service provider specializing in the modification of the form and content of telephone calls and other communications to improve bandwidth efficiency, reduce costs and facilitate the development and provision of advanced applications. Established in 2003, TES uses state-of-the-art technology and a secure, privately managed packet-switched network to deliver cost-effective custom voice-over-IP solutions and converged IP applications to carriers and enterprise customers all over the world. More information is available at Transcom.

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