Windstream Settles Bribery, Conspiracy Charges in Oklahoma
Pays $100,000 For Accusations of Bribing School Official
Windstream Communications has settled charges with the state of Oklahoma over allegations that the company bribed a state school superintendent in order to keep a business deal in place. Back in August Windstream was indicted for giving a school superintendent two all-session tickets to the 2007 NCAA basketball tournament in Atlanta, in addition to paying for his lodging and local entertainment needs.
This week Windstream announced they've settled with the state to dismiss those charges
, though their announcement omits the fact they'll be paying a local school foundation $100,000 as part of the settlement
"We are pleased to reach an agreement with the state of Oklahoma to dismiss these charges," said John Fletcher, executive vice president and general counsel for Windstream. "We have denied the charges from the beginning and cooperated fully with the investigation. As always, our focus remains on conducting our business with integrity."
Those familiar with telecom lobbying know that larger companies (especially AT&T, Verizon and Comcast) do significantly worse on the state and federal level daily with no repercussions whatsoever.
No Surprise I have direct contact with Windstream at $DAYJOB and quite honestly I don't know how they stay in business. Pricing is awful, our service has been the pure definition of awful, and we are counting the minutes until our last contract expires. (our predecessors put the last 36 month contract in place, not us)
In my experience, their sales model is to lock you in to long term contracts AND co-mingle services to keep the true price well hidden. And if you make ANY changes whatsoever, they force you to start over with a new 36 month contract.
In our case, we had 7 locations under a 36 month contract. About 24 months elapsed, we asked them for a quote on a phone system. Hardware, not network related. But instead of giving us a quote on just the phone hardware, they presented a brand new 36 month contract which took the existing voice & data contract (still with 12 months to go) and started it all over at 36 months along with the phone hardware. The buried the "true cost" of the phone system because they used the voice and data services to subsidize the hardware.
On the surfact it "looked" like a good deal-- until we did actual comparisons. The $7,000 month data service 2 years ago can be had for $5,000 today. But they tried to renew the contract at $7,000 and used the extra $72,000 overcharge (36 months @ $2,000 overcharge) to reduce the line item for phone hardware.
So it "looked" like we were going to "maintain the status quo" on the circuits and get a TERRIFIC deal on the phone system.
In reality, they were trying to WAY overcharge us. We told them where to stick their contract, and went to another vendor for phone equipment.
All but one Windstream contract is now expired, and we'll be totally rid of them in a few weeks. I hate them. Management hates them. The whole I.T. department hates them.