Dish Network Being Sued By FTC For Violating National Do Not Call Rules
Lawrence LeBlond for redOrbit.com – Your Universe Online
The country’s second-largest pay-TV broadcaster, Dish Network Corp, has gotten itself into hot water by violating a rule put into place to protect people from annoying telemarketers who push their product wherever they can, reports Reuters.
The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has filed a lawsuit in Illinois District Court alleging that satellite Dish Network violated its “National Do Not Call Registry” by continuing to call people who had previously indicated they did not wish to be contacted by the TV provider.
The FTC said in Thursday’s lawsuit filing that the pay-TV provider illegally called millions of consumers since 2007 in attempts to market its services, even after consumers had asked the company to stop calling them.
FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz said in a statement Thursday that it was “particularly disappointing when a well-established, nationally known company – which ought to know better – appears to have flagrantly and illegally made millions of invasive calls to Americans who specifically told DISH Network to leave them alone.”
“We have vigorously enforced the Do Not Call rules and will continue to do so to protect consumers’ right to be left alone in the privacy of their own homes,” added Leibowitz.
If Dish Network is found guilty, it could be forced to pay a steep fine. Violations committed before Feb. 9, 2009 are $11,000 per violation. The Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act states that any violations after that date are about $16,000 per violation.
A spokesman for Dish Network said the company disputes the merits of the FTC lawsuit and will “vigorously” defend itself, adding that a “third-party industry expert” certified the companies marketing practices in an audit.
Dish is also involved in a 2009 lawsuit with the US Justice Department (DOJ) for violating the Don Not Call list and also for making automated calls, also known as “robocalls.” The pay-TV broadcaster is also involved in a suit against three US TV networks that have charged Dish for its commercial-skipping DVR services.
Dish is not the first pay-TV provider to face Do Not Call charges. DirecTV paid more than $8 million in fines over the past seven years for violating the FTC’s Do Not Call rules. Comcast has also paid fines totaling nearly a million dollars for violating the same rules, a Los Angeles Times report stated.
The current case is Federal Trade Commission v. Dish Network, U.S. District Court, Central District of Illinois, No 3:12-cv-03221