As part of a Federal Trade Commission (FTC (News - Alert)) effort to stop massive amounts of prerecorded robocalling operations, the FTC is taking legal action to stop two operations that allegedly allowed telemarketers to place hundreds of millions of illegal calls to consumers around the country, reaching many who had even registered their phone numbers on the National Do Not Call registry.
The FTC’s case is based on the accusations that the defendants offered self-service voice broadcasting to deliver millions of robocalls to unsuspecting citizens, pitching a variety of messages including debt relief services, carpet and upholstery cleaning services, auto warranties, mortgage loan modification and foreclosure assistance, timeshares, satellite dish broadcasting and burial insurance.
The two separate defendants, Voice Marketing Inc. and VoiceBlaze, allegedly conducted or enabled telemarketing campaigns that they knew illegally called numbers on national no call lists, abandoned calls by playing prerecorded messages, and failed to disclose their identity, all of which were made illegal after the Telemarketing Sales Rule that was created to prevent such call schemes.
Other robocallers that have been found guilty over the last few years have seen plenty of fines and punishments, including having to sell all of their assets just to settle with the FTC.
A quote from June 2010 from FTC Midwest Regional Director, Steven Baker, reiterates the fact that the government is looking for those who are committing these offenses and gives insight into why even two years later, they are trying to put a stop to this practice:
“Telemarketers need to understand that blasting consumers with 'robocall' pitches is no longer legal. Unless you have someone's consent up-front and in writing to receive a robocall, just don't do it. The rules could not be simpler than that, and we will go after telemarketers who ignore them.”
Overall, it seems like the federal government is doing its best to prevent these types of annoyances for those of us that still have a home-phone. As technology improves it is clear that mass amounts of spam marketing are still just as effective on a dying medium of communication. Do you get automated phone telemarketers? Take a look at the national Do Not Call Registry and complaint website.
Edited by Jennifer Russell