FTC takes DISH to court over telemarketing


Dish NetworkAccording to FTC allegations, satellite MVPD DISH Network has made millions of calls to consumers who asked to be left alone – and if the FTC prevails in court, penalties could add up to a very hefty bottom line.

It is not a matter of being registered on the National Do Not Call list. According to FTC, many of the current alleged violations are calls made despite requests by consumers who asked to be placed on the company’s entity-specific do-not-call registry.

“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,” said FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz. “It is 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.”

The FTC complaint has been filed with the U.S. District Court for the District of Central District of Illinois, Springfield Division, on August 22, 2012.

FTC said, “DISH Network violated the agency’s Telemarketing Sales Rule while calling consumers nationwide in an attempt to sell its satellite television programming. DISH Network makes these telemarketing calls both directly to consumers and via a network of authorized dealers who make calls on its behalf. Specifically, the FTC alleges that DISH has made millions of outbound telephone calls since about September 1, 2007 to consumers who had already told them that they did not want to receive any more telemarketing calls from the company.”

In its court filing, FTC noted that any illegal call made after 2/9/09 was subject to a maximum monetary penalty of $16K. It asked the court for relief for consumers, for monetary punishment, and for costs incurred in taking action against DISH. It said allowing DISH to continue as it has would subject consumers to further harm and would allow DISH to continue to amass ill-gotten gains.