America Movil Fined for Calling User’s Contacts for Bill Payment

Apr 26, 2014 1:01 am ET

April 26 (Bloomberg) -- America Movil SAB, controlled by billionaire Carlos Slim, was fined by Mexico’s government for calling and messaging a customer’s contacts without her permission, asking them for her phone-bill debt to be paid.

Mexico’s transparency agency, known as IFAI, imposed four fines totaling 9.9 million pesos ($754,000) on the Mexico City- based operator’s Telcel mobile-phone unit. America Movil improperly shared its client’s name, phone number and account number with some of her contacts, IFAI said in an e-mailed statement yesterday.

The operator, which has seven out of 10 Mexican mobile- phone lines, was trying to reach the subscriber’s contacts to inform them about her debt and negotiate a form of payment. These actions were never authorized by the client and violate clauses of confidentiality, consent and lawfulness, according to IFAI.

An America Movil press official didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

Earlier this week, Mexico’s telecommunication regulator said it received a complaint against America Movil from competitor Telefonica SA, which asserted that Slim’s operator wasn’t heeding the regulator’s orders. The company continued to sell locked mobile-phone devices and refused to share its network with competitors, Telefonica said.