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Dish Network TCPA and Do Not Call Telemarketing FTC Action

When a company violates telemarketing laws literally millions of times, what’s the remedy? In the case of Dish Network, it seems, it’s the US Department of Justice bringing suit on behalf of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the states of California, Illinois, North Carolina, and Ohio, and record penalties totaling $280 million.

Because of advances in technology, a number of entities have passed laws or established rules against abuses of consumers via telemarketing. Among other things, the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) forbids the use of automatic dialers and artificial or pre-recorded voices in the making of telemarketing calls, as well as the placing of telemarketing calls to cell phones without prior written consent to receive such calls. The TCPA also allows states to bring suit on behalf of their residents against companies who make a practice of violating the telemarketing laws.

The FTC’s Telemarketing Sales Rule (TSR) establishes a National Do Not Call List and forbids telemarketing calls to numbers on the list. It also says that telemarketers cannot “abandon” calls—that is, when a person answers the telemarketing call, a sales representative must come on the line within two seconds of their greeting.

Dish Network sells satellite television programming to consumers throughout the US. The complaint for this action alleges that, since on or about October 17, 2003, Dish or its agents have made calls to numbers on the Do Not Call list. It also alleges that, since about October 1, 2003, some of Dish’s agents have abandoned calls, or not placed a representative on the line within two seconds.

The complaint says that Dish has received numerous complaints from consumers about calls to numbers on the Do Not Call List and about its agents using automatic dialing systems and pre-recorded voices to place telemarketing calls, so Dish cannot claim ignorance of these practices. And if that’s not enough, the states of Missouri and Indiana have already pursued law enforcement actions against Dish for violation of telemarketing laws. Still, the complaint claims, Dish has not put in place an effective program to monitor its agents’ compliance with the laws.

In fact, the court stated that Dish initially hired its telemarketing agents “based on one factor, the ability to generate activations. Dish cared about very little else. As a result, Dish created a situation in which unscrupulous sales persons used illegal practices to sell Dish Network programming any way they could.”

The outcome of the case has been $280 million in penalties for Dish, with $168 million for the federal government and the remainder going to the plaintiff states. The federal award was a record for a Do Not Call case and the largest civil penalty ever granted for a violation of the FTC act. Dish must also take steps such as employing a telemarketing expert, implementing certain practices, and keeping extensive records in order to prove compliance with the court’s injunctions.

Article Type: Lawsuit
Topic: Consumer

Most Recent Case Event

Dish Network TCPA and Do Not Call Telemarketing FTC Order for Permanent Injunction

June 5, 2017

Dish Network, a company that sells satellite television programming to consumers throughout the US, is alleged to have made literally millions of calls to consumers that violate telemarketing laws. The outcome of the case has been $280 million in penalties for Dish. Dish must also take steps such as employing a telemarketing expert, implementing certain practices, and keeping extensive records in order to prove compliance with the court’s injunctions.

dish_ilc_309cv3073_order_injunction.pdf

Case Event History

Dish Network TCPA and Do Not Call Telemarketing FTC Complaint

April 30, 2009

Dish Network, a company that sells satellite television programming to consumers throughout the US, is alleged to have made literally millions of calls to consumers that violate telemarketing laws. The complaint for this action alleges that, since on or about October 17, 2003, Dish or its agents have made calls to numbers on the Do Not Call list. It also alleges that, since about October 1, 2003, some of Dish’s agents have abandoned calls, or not placed a representative on the line within two seconds. In addition, it says that Dish has received many consumer complaints about calls placed with automatic dialing systems and artificial or pre-recorded voices. 

dishntwkfisrtamendcmpltandjurytrial.pdf

Dish Network TCPA and Do Not Call Telemarketing FTC Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law

June 5, 2017

The complaint alleged twelve counts against Dish for violating federal and state laws regarding telemarketing calls, such as the TCPA and the FTC’s TSR. The court finds for the plaintiffs in ten of these counts and found for Dish in only two. 

dish_ilc_309cv3073_fact.pdf

Dish Network TCPA and Do Not Call Telemarketing FTC Order for Permanent Injunction

June 5, 2017

Dish Network, a company that sells satellite television programming to consumers throughout the US, is alleged to have made literally millions of calls to consumers that violate telemarketing laws. The outcome of the case has been $280 million in penalties for Dish. Dish must also take steps such as employing a telemarketing expert, implementing certain practices, and keeping extensive records in order to prove compliance with the court’s injunctions.

dish_ilc_309cv3073_order_injunction.pdf
Tags: Called Number on Do Not Call Registry, TCPA, Use of Automatic-Capable Dialer