North Dakota orders telephone company to stop marketing services to residents

Bright Sound misrepresented itself to multiple North Dakota residents, the Public Service Commission claimed.

FSA north dakota brief

BISMARCK — North Dakota has told a Florida telecommunications company to stop advertising its services in the Peace Garden State.

The North Dakota Public Service Commission (PSC) issued a cease and desist order against Bright Sound Communications, according to a Thursday, Feb. 23, news release. The state agency alleged the company misrepresented itself during sales calls.

“Competition in the telecommunications industry is fine and even encouraged, but blatantly and continually misrepresenting the facts will absolutely not be tolerated,” Commission Chair Randy Christmann said in a statement.

The PSC has received at least two complaints about Bright Sound dating back to October, the release said. The company called residents and claimed they were “associated with or otherwise affiliated with” the customers’ long-distance provider, the PSC said.

Bright Sound then tried to convince the customers to switch to the company and falsely claimed the residents’ current provider didn’t offer the long-distance service anymore, the release said.


Government investigators found six instances of misrepresentation, according to the release.

Bright Sound told the PSC it had canceled its contract with an outsourced marketing firm and planned to stop calling residents in an attempt to get them to switch providers, but the state agency received another complaint about the company this month, the release said. Bright Sound sent the customer bills, even though the resident didn’t sign up for any services, according to the release.

Customers who are contacted by Bright Sound are asked to contact the PSC at 701-328-2400.

The Forum called Bright Spot for a response. A customer service representative gave the newspaper a number to call, but that number rerouted a reporter back to customer service.

The Forum also has reached out to the company via email. It did not get a response by publishing time.

April Baumgarten joined The Forum in February 2019 as an investigative reporter. She grew up on a ranch 10 miles southeast of Belfield, N.D., where her family raises Hereford cattle. She double majored in communications and history/political science at the University of Jamestown, N.D.
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