Print 25 comment(s) - last by feraltoad.. on Nov 12 at 3:17 AM

The FTC brings $7.7 million in DNC list violations against six major companies

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission announced that it initiated a crackdown on companies who disregard names on the Federal Do Not Call (DNC) list and actions resulting from the crackdown have been brought against six companies by the U.S. Department of Justice.

These actions have resulted in six settlements with the FTC with the sum total being $7.7 million in civil penalties. The largest settlement was from Craftmatic, the adjustable bed company, after it used a contest to capture phone numbers of entrants. Consumers who entered the contest weren’t told sales calls would be made to the numbers they provided to enter the contest.

Craftmatic allegedly placed tens of thousands of calls to the numbers collected in the contest and complaints alleged the company made millions of abandoned calls to consumers. An abandoned call is when a call is placed to a consumer and the consumer isn't connected to a live representative within two seconds.

Craftmatic has agreed to pay a $4.4 million USD civil penalty to settle the complaint, which is the second largest penalty ever for DNC violations. Alarm company ADT also settled with the FTC for calling numbers on the DNC list for $2 million. Two of its authorized dealers, Alarm King and Direct Security also settled for $20,000 and $25,000 respectively for DNC violations.

Ameriquest Mortgage settled similar allegations for $1 million. Guardian Communications was hit with the largest penalty totaling $7.8 million, but settled with the FTC for only $150,000 because the company couldn’t pay the full amount of the fine. The remainder of the $7.8 million is suspended based on the company's inability to pay.

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By iFX on 11/9/2007 3:40:08 PM , Rating: 3
I hope these companies go out of business over the settlement!

It's already against Federal law to cold-call cell phone numbers, but I am starting to get those too! I tell the person on the other end "you are breaking Federal law by cold-calling this number!!" and then they hang up on me.

Score one for the consumer!

RE: Great!
By KristopherKubicki on 11/9/2007 3:44:19 PM , Rating: 3
Looks like one of them already did.

I just got a new line last month. The Federal DNC takes 30 days to work. Wyndham Vacations has called me 17 times in 22 days. I've asked them to stop four times, but usually I just hang up immediately. How asinine!

RE: Great!
By R Nilla on 11/9/2007 4:01:55 PM , Rating: 2
Wow, can you tell it's them through caller ID? That's when it's time to bust out the soundboards. Or just ignore them, I suppose...

RE: Great!
By JBird7986 on 11/10/2007 12:22:59 AM , Rating: 2
Or you could always do something like this:

RE: Great!
By iFX on 11/9/2007 4:05:47 PM , Rating: 2
It got pretty bad last year with my lan line. I finally gave up and had it disconnected. The calls would start at 6AM EST!

There was one company, Rainsoft, that sold water purification that would call every hour on the hour from 6AM to 5PM!

RE: Great!
By TomZ on 11/9/2007 4:26:19 PM , Rating: 2
I just got a new line last month.

Unlisted numbers are worth their weight in gold. We get practically zero telemarketing calls, and we only give the number out to frends and family. We give creditors and other businesses my work number, and even with that, I only get the occasional call. I think the biggest impact is by having the number unlisted.

RE: Great!
By jajig on 11/10/2007 10:21:50 AM , Rating: 2
I have to agree unlisted numbers are worth the $4 a month I pay for it.

RE: Great!
By feraltoad on 11/12/2007 3:06:07 AM , Rating: 4
Kristopher, we must have got disconnected. I'm so glad I found you here! I can understand that your want me to die by having my headset shoved up my @ss repeatedly, but I'd like to let know that Hoboken in June...OK?...OK?...Mr. Kubicki?

RE: Great!
By Orbs on 11/9/2007 4:02:36 PM , Rating: 2
Maybe now I can play the Orange Box without being interrupted by some telemarketer every single time I sit down to play... maybe.

RE: Great!
By Runiteshark on 11/9/2007 4:09:05 PM , Rating: 2
I thought the fine was supposed to be $10,000 per call per customer for each violation of this DNC list. Obviously these companies called a few more then 4400, or 2000 calls.

What ever happened to that?

RE: Great!
By johnbuk on 11/9/2007 4:20:50 PM , Rating: 2
Dumped my land line several years ago and only get an occasional solicitor on my cell. I guess I'm surprised at the number of people who must buy from telemarketers in order for the business of telemarketing to still be profitable. I never bought from them and would either hang up or else punch a key on the phone so that it would beep until they hung up on me.

RE: Great!
By KristopherKubicki on 11/9/2007 4:21:25 PM , Rating: 2
I thought the fine was supposed to be $10,000 per call per customer

It's actually "up to $10,000"

RE: Great!
By AlphaVirus on 11/9/2007 4:17:33 PM , Rating: 2
I feel the same way, my land line is sitting next to my computer and it irritates me when I am gaming and they call

Them "Hi, is -insert random name- here"
Me "No you have the wrong number"
Them "Well actually I have the right number, this is not a call to try and get your money and is not a sales ca..*click*
Me to my fiance "Man they just never give up do they"

RE: Great!
By wordsworm on 11/9/07, Rating: -1
RE: Great!
By leexgx on 11/10/2007 6:37:12 AM , Rating: 1
all i can say is wanker, i wunder if any one has been shot for working in telemarketing

i probly not going to get rated down for this as its quite true,

can be anoying when it starts,
i have all ready sent legal letter out to one call center not for Selling me stuff but cida ironic, Sales Removle Service ringing me up all the time to remove me from lists..

RE: Great!
By wordsworm on 11/10/2007 10:33:34 AM , Rating: 1
all i can say is wanker, i wunder if any one has been shot for working in telemarketing
I don't know if anyone's been shot for it. I know a janitor who got shot for trying to help someone. He saved the lady's life, but got shot for his effort. Was a really nice guy. You know the stereotype... 2 weeks from retirement, then boom... gone. That's as close to it as I can think.

Those letters people write are kind of funny, especially when dealing with, say, call centers in Montreal which don't have to follow those rules. They can still get busted for fraud, but not for calling people on the 'do not call list.' Take some friendly advice: just don't give your credit card or chequing account number. Don't get angry, don't bother doing pointless things like complaining. It just upsets you and makes the telemarketer on the other end laugh at you. Well, I guess I do remember some people, particularly the ladies, would sometimes cry and go home for the day - some of them take the abuse from prospective customers personally. But really, it's just a lot of stress for you. Really, if the worst thing that happens to you in a day is that a telemarketer interrupted your dinner or game, then consider yourself lucky.

RE: Great!
By mcturkey on 11/11/2007 4:21:58 AM , Rating: 2
I'd be pretty surprised if Canada doesn't have a law specifying that if a company was told not to call a number again that they must comply.

If telemarketing jobs didn't offer as much money as they do, nobody would take them. If I'm in the right mood, I'll irritate the telemarketer to the point where they hang up on me. It doesn't stress me out, it helps me relieve stress to rip these guys a new one. I have absolutely no sympathy for anyone who works that type of job.

RE: Great!
By oldman42 on 11/12/2007 12:56:23 AM , Rating: 2
Wow, you are a salseman to the core aren't you?

I suppose you should consider yourself lucky if all I do is flick your ear for an hour everyday too? Could be worse right? I can think of a hundred reasons why someone should not have the right to "actively" pursue me in my home for a sale, but I can't think of a single one why they should.

Telemarketers should be treated as poorly as is legally possible so that maybe they will reconsider their career choice. It is no more skin off my nose to curse at the putz who's bothering me than it is to be bothered by said putz in the first place.

RE: Great!
By feraltoad on 11/12/2007 3:17:20 AM , Rating: 1
Let's hear more about that heroic Janitor! By stereotype do you mean the LA Police arrived and saved the white woman from the black man who had a gun disguised as a mop by shooting him 97 times or until he was no longer a threat? "He's going for that grenade that looks like Comet!" Or should it be a terrorist for modern times? Anyway, tell the story!

By hr824 on 11/9/2007 4:24:12 PM , Rating: 3
The next time I get a speeding ticket I will site the Gardian case and tell the judge that I can't pay $120.00 but can only afford $2.00.....How do you think I'll make out?

RE: Gardian
By HighWing on 11/9/2007 5:15:41 PM , Rating: 1
Seriously thats exactly what I was thinking. If a citizen can't pay a fine, you either get community service or thrown in jail.

I think something similar should be done with a company too. I mean just suspending the rest is basically just slapping them on the hand and saying don't do it again. At the least I hope some sort of restrictions were put on the suspended sum like if they ever get fined again, they have to not only pay the new fine, but also pay the previously suspended amount even it it makes them go bankrupt. Hell the govt does it in other ways to other companies.

RE: Gardian
By joex444 on 11/9/2007 7:35:22 PM , Rating: 2
Especially since the feds decided to make corporations a "legal entity" -- it makes them equal to people, yet they are clearly run by people with vast sums of money to prevent losses in court.

Basically, all of Gardin's next $7.65 million in profit should go to this penalty. Oddly, corporations with huge incomes (and I don't know if Gardin is huge or not), have some really crafty accountants and tax preparers. Did you know that most of the Fortune 500 companies don't pay taxes? They can make hundreds of millions in income and offset it with non-tangible costs, such as depreciation, and end up with a tangible net profit, yet claim a loss and the government can't overturn that on audit.

It's kind of disgusting. Maybe capitalism is the best thing we have yet, but it still is all wrong. Communism certainly has its downsides, but you could never say that in communist USSR that the factory is worth more than Joe factory worker, but they'd still both be screwed.

RE: Gardian
By Martin Blank on 11/10/2007 12:54:25 AM , Rating: 2
During much of the USSR's existence, the workers were considered expendable, while the infrastructure -- the factories, in your example -- were valuable. This is why so many areas are badly polluted, the lifespan was short (though it's improved in the last 20 years), and Soviet battle tactics long used techniques that included nearly-suicidal infantry rushes intended to distract the enemy from the artillery and armor.

RE: Gardian
By jajig on 11/10/2007 10:19:16 AM , Rating: 2
LOL like in CoD.

You follow man with gun. When he get's shot you pick up gun.

something like that anyway

RE: Gardian
By boredg on 11/11/2007 5:01:23 PM , Rating: 2
i think the best telemarketing experience ive ever had is when i told the guy calling me to go ***k himself. and he replied:
"Id love to sir, but im not on break yet." :)

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