Federal Judge Clobbers Dish for Telemarketing Violations

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An U.S. District judge found Dish Network liable for more than 57 million illegal telemarketing calls, including Do-Not-Call violations.

Have you received an annoying telemarketing call from Dish Network, even though your phone number is on the Do Not Call list or you’ve asked Dish to quit calling you? You’re not alone. Dish Network has been found liable for more than 57 million telemarketing violations.

A U.S. District Court ruled that the satellite TV company repeatedly violated the Telemarketing Sales Rule, which includes the Do Not Call Registry, as well as the Telephone Consumer Protection Act and state telemarketing laws.

The ruling stems from a complaint against Dish filed by the Department of Justice at the request of the Federal Trade Commission and the states of California, Illinois, North Carolina and Ohio in 2009.

Although many of the calls came directly from Dish, others came from outside vendors or retailers authorized by Dish.

Not only did Dish and its retailers call more than 6.7 million people whose names were on the Do Not Call list, they also called more than a million consumers who had already told Dish that they didn’t want to be called, according to the FTC. Dish is also being held responsible for nearly 50 million abandoned calls. The FTC said:

Consumers know what we’re talking about: You race out of the shower or run downstairs to answer a ringing phone only to find nobody on the line. Under the Telemarketing Sales Rule, companies that place a call have to connect people to a sales rep within two seconds after the consumer finishes saying hello.

The original complaint asks for $500 to $25,000 per violation, so Dish potentially faces billions of dollars in penalties for its telemarketing violations.

Issues pertaining to the complaint, as well as penalties, will be sorted out when Dish goes on trial in July.

Have you received telemarketing phone calls even if you’re on the Do Not Call list? Share your thoughts below or on our Facebook page.

Stacy Johnson

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