Saturday, November 10, 2007


Telemarketer Guardian Communications shut down by FTC

Posted at Quad City Times

Telemarketing companies face federal lawsuit

By Dustin Lemmon
Thursday, November 08, 2007

A federal lawsuit has been filed against two telemarketing companies based in Moline that have allegedly violated laws related to the national do-not-call registry and use of automated dialers.

According to the suit filed by the U.S. Attorney’s office in U.S. District Court, Central District of Illinois, the companies have abandoned calls, failed to transmit caller identification information and placed calls on behalf of sellers who had not paid National Do Not Call Registry fees.

The defendants include Guardian Communications, in the 1600 block of 7th Street, United States Voice Broadcasting Inc., in the 1900 block of 7th Street, and Kevin Baker, owner and president of Guardian Communications.
Efforts to reach the defendants for comment Wednesday were unsuccessful. A phone number for Guardian Enterprises, which has the same address as Guardian Communications, was disconnected.

The Federal Trade Commission issued a news release Wednesday saying the suit is one of five nationwide filed this week against companies that have violated various telemarketing laws.
The FTC said a stipulated final order was filed with the suit and the two companies will pay $150,000 to settle the case with a remaining $7.8 million judgment suspended because they’re unable to pay.

According to the suit, since 2004 the companies through a joint venture have sold a voice message delivery service that can be used to deliver pre-recorded messages to consumers and their answering machines through a service described as “voice broadcasting.”
The sellers record a message, and the companies use an automated dialer to place calls to a database of telephone numbers either provided by the companies or the seller, the suit states, adding the companies can place up to 20 million phone calls a day.

The defendants have violated federal laws by “abandoning” or not connecting calls to a live representative within two seconds of the consumer answering the phone, the suit states.
According to the suit, the defendants have programmed their equipment to either play a recorded message to the person answering the phone or cancel the call after determining that the phone was not answered by an answering machine or voice-mail system.
“Guardian blasted phone numbers with pre-recorded telemarketing pitches, immediately terminating calls when a live consumer answered,” the FTC said in its news release.
The companies also violated laws requiring that either the name of the telemarketer or seller be displayed to the consumer’s caller ID service, the suit states, adding the calls would say “Cust Service,” “Services, Inc.,” “Card Services,” “LTR” or “DWC.”

The suit further claims that the companies since October 2003 have called numerous numbers in various area codes without their sellers having paid an annual fee for access to telephone numbers included in the National Do Not Call Registry.
The suit claims the defendants could be fined $11,000 for each violation of the FTC Telemarketing Sales Rule. The suit also asks for a court order permanently enjoining the defendants from further violations.

Dustin Lemmon can be contacted at
(563) 383-2493 or

Thanks to everybody who helped shut down this illegal telemarketer. It took over two years, but stopping 20 million calls a day should allow a few people to enjoy a peaceful dinner. Visit anti206thread to see the history of this fight.

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