Dish Network Charged With "Do Not Call" Telemarketing Violations
Consumers who have signed up for the National Do Not Call Registry (and anyone who has had a peaceful dinner interrupted by a ringing phone and a once-in-a-lifetime offer) can take solace in the announcement of two small victories in the seemingly unending war against annoying and unlawful telemarketers.
A federal lawsuit filed Wednesday accuses Dish Network (formerly EchoStar) of calling numerous consumers who have placed their phone numbers on the National Do Not Call Registry, and of using "robocalls" -- which deliver prerecorded telemarketing messages when consumers answer their phones -- in violation of the the Telemarketing Sales Rule, according to a Press Release from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). The complaint was filed by the FTC and the attorneys general of California, Illinois, Ohio, and North Carolina.
In another small victory against excessive and unsolicited telemarketing, Verizon Wireless announced this week that it has settled a lawsuit with a Utah organization that had flooded Verizon customers with calls promoting a movie -- to the tune of 500,000 calls over a 10-day period -- according to the Los Angeles Times.
The National Do Not Call Registry allows you to choose whether to receive telemarketing calls, either at home or on your cell phone. Most telemarketers have to stop calling your number once it's been on the do-not-call list for 31 days. Learn more: National Do Not Call Registry.
- FTC Press Release on the Lawsuit Against Dish Network (FTC.gov)
- Read the Complaint: U.S. v. Dish Network L.L.C. [PDF file]
- Reuters: U.S. Accuses Dish of Violating Do-Not-Call List
- L.A. Times: Two Little Victories for Telemarketing Haters
- National Do Not Call Registry
- What is Telemarketing Fraud? (FindLaw)
- Special Consumer Protections: Telemarketing (FindLaw)