Monday, December 19, 2005


DirecTV fined again

Mediapost writes
DirecTV Fined For Aggressive Telemarketing Practices
by Wayne Friedman, Wednesday, Dec 14, 2005 8:04 AM EST

DIRECTV HAS BEEN PENALIZED FOR overly aggressive marketing. The News Corp.-satellite distributor will pay more than $10 million in fines for violation of a number of telephone marketing practices, including the federally mandated "do-not-call" phone lists.
The fines come in two parts. The most recent comes from settling a complaint yesterday lodged by the Justice Department for the Federal Trade Commission.
DirecTV agreed to pay $5.3 million in fines. On Monday, DirecTV agreed to pay $5 million to New York and 21 other states, and restitution to consumers, to settle complaints against its marketing practices.
The do-not-call list was launched in 2003, and now has 110 million phone numbers of consumers. Telemarketers are able to download the DNC list at so they will avoid calling these numbers.
DirecTV denied any violations of the telemarketing rules, but paid the money and agreed not to repeat the unwanted calls.
The FTC said there were thousands of violations in reference to the DirecTV marketing efforts.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005


DirecTV fined $5.3 million

Not sure if this is related to the Guardian Communications case. If anybody has info on the numbers these companies used, please post.

Posted at FTC site
Directv to Pay $5.3 Million Penalty For Do Not Call Violations
Penalty is Largest Ever for Violation of the Do Not Call Law
Satellite television provider DIRECTV will pay $5,335,000 to settle FTC charges that, since October 2003, DIRECTV and companies it hired to promote DIRECTV programming have been violating the Do Not Call (DNC) provisions of the Commission’s Telemarketing Sales Rule (TSR). This is the largest civil penalty the FTC has ever announced in a case enforcing any consumer protection law.
At the Commission’s request, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) filed the complaint and stipulated settlements in Federal District Court in Los Angeles. The complaint names as defendants DIRECTV, five firms that telemarketed on its behalf, and six principals of those telemarketing firms. Settlements with DIRECTV and two of the telemarketing firms and their principals were filed along with the complaint.
“This multimillion dollar penalty drives home a simple point: Sellers are on the hook for calls placed on their behalf,” said Chairman Deborah Platt Majoras. “The Do Not Call Rule applies to all players in the marketing chain, including retailers and their telemarketers.”
The Complaint
The complaint alleges that telemarketers calling on behalf of DIRECTV contacted consumers on the National DNC Registry. In addition, the complaint alleges that one of the telemarketers – Global Satellite, directly or through another entity – abandoned calls to consumers by failing to put a live sales representative on the line within two seconds after the called consumer completes his or her greeting, as required under the law.
Finally, the complaint alleges that DIRECTV provided substantial assistance and support to Global Satellite, even though it knew or consciously avoided knowing, that Global Satellite was violating the TSR.
Terms of the Court Orders
The FTC announced proposed stipulated final orders with DIRECTV and two telemarketers, Communications Concepts and its principal and American Communications of the Triad and its principal.
The first order requires DIRECTV to pay $5,335,000 in civil penalties. The proposed settlement agreement also prohibits DIRECTV, whether acting directly or through its authorized telemarketers, from violating the TSR. The proposed settlement tracks the relevant Telemarketing Sales Rule provisions, prohibiting calls to consumers on the DNC Registry, calls to consumers who asked not to receive calls on behalf of a particular seller, and abandoned calls.
The proposed settlement also requires DIRECTV to terminate any marketer of its products who DIRECTV knows or should know is making cold calls to consumers without express, written authorization from DIRECTV. The proposed settlement also prohibits DIRECTV from assisting and facilitating any telemarketer it knows or consciously avoids knowing is violating the Telemarketing Sales Rule. Finally, the proposed settlement imposes extensive monitoring requirements on DIRECTV mandating that the company oversee those marketers selling its goods or services.
The orders against Communication Concepts and American Communications require the companies to pay civil penalties of $25,000 and $50,000, respectively and bar both companies and their principals from future violations of the TSR and its component DNC Rule. The orders contain judgments of $205,000 against Communications Concepts and $746,300 against American Communications, both which have been suspended based on those companies’ inability to pay.
Settling Defendants and Ongoing Litigation
The proposed settlements announced today, if adopted by the court, would settle the Commission’s complaint and end its litigation against the following five defendants: DIRECTV, Inc.; Communication Concepts, LLC, also doing business as (dba) Rogers Group; Jim Turner, individually and as an officer of Communication Concepts; American Communications of the Triad; and Michael Gibson, individually and as an officer of American Communications of the Triad.
Litigation continues with the following seven defendants: D.R.D., Inc., also dba Power Direct; Daniel R. Delfino, individually and as an officer of D.R.D.; Nomrah Records, also dba Direct Activation; Mark Harmon, individually and as an officer of Nomrah Records; Global Satellite, LLC., also dba Mavcomm; William King, individually and as an officer of Global Satellite; and Michael Gleason, individually and as an officer of Global Satellite.
The Commission vote approving the complaint against DIRECTV and the five corporate defendants and their principals was 4-0, as was the vote to approve the stipulated final orders against DIRECTV and the two corporate defendants and their principals. The complaint and stipulated final orders were filed by the DOJ on the FTC’s behalf on December 12, 2005, in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, Western Division.

Interesting discussion at slashdot.
My comment

Re:Federal government should follow Florida's lead(Score:1)
by anti206 (938898) on Thursday December 15, @11:20PM (#14269871)
I have been fighting telemarketers for 5 months now and its great to see the FTC finally get involved. My main problem came from telemarketers using a 206 area code. A Seattle phone company, Marathon Communications (800 919 1000), provides phone numbers and acts as a buffer for the telemarketers. They use a fake name on caller ID (TMC,card services, etc) and a fake number you can't call back (206 415 8940,206 415 8880, 206 415 8547 etc). When you call Marathon they won't give you the identity of the business that called you unless you subpoena them, which is what my Attorney General did. One company was Guardian Communications (309 277 1222) 3322 38th.ave Moline IL.61265. They called people on the DNC list, used illegal recorded messages, and called cell phones. They sold the numbers they got to DirecTV and Dish Network. North Carolina sued them for this two weeks ago. Calls from illegal telemarketers are a huge problem and the DirecTV case is just the tip of the iceberg. Visit [] for more info. or to join the antitelemarketer fight.

Thursday, December 01, 2005


Guardian Communications sued again

Guardian Communications (309 277 1222) the illegal telemarketer behind the majority of (206) calls has been sued by the North Carolina Attorney General. Lets hope more states follow suit. Call your Attorney General and file a complaint. Click here for more info. National Association of Attorney Generals

Posted at WFMY News 2

Attorney General Hangs Up A Telemarketer

The Attorney General puts a stop to a telemarketer calling local residents with a pre-recorded message.
Raleigh, NC -- An Illinois telemarketer that made illegal prerecorded calls to collect information about potential customers and then sold it to satellite television dealers has been ordered to stop calling people in North Carolina, Attorney General Roy Cooper announced today."This telemarketer bothered people who'd made it clear they didn't want to get sales calls at home," said Cooper. "Not only were these calls illegal, but the telemarketers weren't even selling what they were pitching. Instead, they were trolling for potential customers so they could turn around and sell their names to another company."In a preliminary injunction granted today in Wake County Superior Court by Judge Donald W. Stephens, Guardian Communications of Moline, Illinois is barred from calling North Carolinians while the case goes forward. Cooper's office is also seeking to permanently stop Guardian's telemarketing calls into the state and make them pay fines and penalties. In a complaint filed in Wake County Superior Court this week by Cooper's office, Guardian Communications is alleged to have called North Carolina homes to pitch satellite television service using illegal tactics such as prerecorded messages and calling numbers listed on the Do Not Call Registry. The company, which does not actually provide satellite service, then sold the information it collected about people to satellite firms who were looking for potential customers. One consumer from Summerfield, NC described the call she got from Guardian in March 2005: "When I said 'Hello' no one responded," she said. "After a delay, a sales representative continued to speak in the same speed and tone. It was obviously a pre-recorded message and I hung up immediately." Under North Carolina law, prerecorded telemarketing calls are illegal unless a live operator first asks if the consumer wishes to listen to the message.North Carolina's case against Guardian was brought by Cooper's Telemarketing Fraud Task Force, funded by a grant from the US Department of Justice. Since the Do Not Call Registry began in 2003, Cooper's Task Force has taken dozens of telemarketers to court for breaking Do Not Call laws and recovered more than $250,000 from violators."When someone puts their phone number on the Do Not Call list, companies need to respect their wishes and stop calling. If you've placed your number on the list but still get calls, let my office know about it," said Cooper. To report Do Not Call violators, call the Attorney General's Office at 1-877-5-NO-SCAM. To place your number on the Do Not Call Registry, call (888) 382-1222 from the number you wish to register or visit the state's "Do Not Call" website.

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