I’ve written quite a few stories about debt relief industry problems with the Telephone Consumer Protection Act and autodialers.
If you’ve ignored me till now, maybe this record fine out of the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) will get your attention if your debt relief company is dialing for dollars.
This week the FCC fined a company nearly $3 million over calls to about 150 consumers.
“Travel Club Marketing, based in Tampa, Florida, made or initiated at least 185 “robocalls,” all of which were unsolicited, prerecorded advertising calls to over 142 consumers who had not consented to the robocalls and the majority of whom had placed their telephone number on the National Do-Not-Call Registry. This is the largest forfeiture order the Commission has issued for robocalling violations.
“It is unacceptable to invade consumers’ privacy by bombarding them with unwanted and intrusive robocalls,” said Travis LeBlanc, Chief of the FCC Enforcement Bureau. “All companies, and their owners, who thwart the Do-Not-Call list should expect to face severe consequences.”
The Enforcement Bureau reviewed complaints from consumers who had received unwanted prerecorded calls to residential and cell phone lines promoting travel deals, free vacations, and time-shares. In addition, many of these consumers had sought to prevent unwanted telemarketing calls by placing their telephone numbers on the National Do-Not-Call Registry.
The Commission’s action finds that Travel Club Marketing, its related companies, and its owner Olen Miller willfully and repeatedly violated the Communications Act and the Commission’s rules by making or initiating at least185 unlawful prerecorded advertising calls to 142 consumers.
At the time of these calls, the Communications Act and Commission’s rules required prior express consent for all robocalls to cell phones and either prior express consent or an established business relations for advertising robocalls to residential telephone lines. Travel Club Marketing did not have prior express consent or an established business relationship for any of the calls they made. The Commission amended the rules, effective October 2013, to rescind the established business relationship exemption and to require that prior express consent be in writing for all advertising robocalls.” – Source
While the record fine is not against a debt relief company, it is another clear signal that unsolicited robocalls are now poison for companies to use if they want to avoid trouble.
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