Company Allegedly Used "Voice Broadcasting" to Help Clients Transmit Unwanted Calls
A California company that provides voice-over-Internet “voice broadcasting” services has agreed to stop transmitting illegal robocalls to consumers to settle Federal Trade Commission charges that it violated the Telemarketing Sales Rule (TSR). The company also will pay a $75,000 civil penalty as part of the settlement. A voice broadcaster is a company that uses computers to broadcast pre-recorded messages to many recipients at one time.
The FTC charged that Skyy Consulting, Inc., which does business as CallFire, assisted and facilitated its clients in placing outbound pre-recorded telemarketing calls to consumers without their written consent. Such telemarketing robocalls have been illegal since September 1, 2009. The FTC charged that the defendants either knew, or consciously avoided knowing, that their clients were violating the TSR. CallFire is headquartered in Santa Monica, Calif.
The proposed order settling the FTC’s charges bars the company from initiating illegal robocalls or otherwise violating the TSR. It requires CallFire to review all pre-recorded messages it delivers and terminate its contracts with any clients who are found to be delivering illegal pre-recorded telemarketing calls. In addition, within 120 days, CallFire must review all existing pre-recorded messages hosted on its platform to ensure they are complying with the TSR.
The Commission vote to authorize the staff to refer the complaint to the Department of Justice (DOJ), and to approve the proposed consent decree, was 4-0, with Commissioner Maureen K. Ohlhausen issuing a separate concurring statement. The DOJ filed the complaint and proposed consent decree in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California on May 13, 2013. The proposed consent decree is subject to court approval.
NOTE: The Commission authorizes the filing of a complaint when it has “reason to believe” that the law has been or is being violated, and it appears to the Commission that a proceeding is in the public interest. Consent decrees have the force of law when signed by the District Court judge.
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FTC Western Region, San Francisco