The Federal Trade Commission today announced it has entered into court settlements with the final defendants charged with violating the Do Not Call (DNC) provisions of the Telemarketing Sales Rule (TSR) by calling consumers whose numbers were on the DNC Registry in an attempt to sell them DIRECTV satellite television subscriptions. The orders require the defendants to pay a total of $100,000 in penalties and bar them from future TSR violations.
In December 2005, the Commission charged DIRECTV and other defendants that telemarketed on DIRECTV’s behalf – including those settling today – with violating the DNC Rule and the TSR by calling consumers, despite the fact that their numbers were on the National DNC Registry. In settling the charges, DIRECTV paid $5.3 million, representing the largest-ever DNC penalty obtained by the Commission.
The final court orders announced today settle the Commission’s charges against the following defendants: D.R.D., Inc., also d/b/a Power Direct; Daniel R. Delfino, individually and as an officer of D.R.D.; Global Satellite, LLC., also d/b/a Mavcomm; William King, individually and as an officer of Global Satellite; and Michael Gleason, individually and as an officer of Global Satellite.
The Commission’s Complaints: According to the Commission, the D.R.D. and Global Satellite defendants violated the Do Not Call provisions of the TSR by telemarketing DIRECTV subscriptions on behalf of DIRECTV to consumers whose numbers are on the National DNC Registry. Defendant Global Satellite also violated the TSR by using pre-recorded telemarketing messages that resulted in abandoned calls. Under the TSR, each abandoned call is a violation of the Rule if not connected to a live operator within two seconds after the consumer answers.
The Final Judgments and Orders: The stipulated final judgments and orders against the D.R.D. and Global Satellite defendants contain both monetary penalties and conduct provisions. They require D.R.D. to pay a $35,000 civil penalty and impose a $653,013 civil penalty on the Global Satellite defendants. Defendant King, who ran Global Satellite, will pay $65,000 of the $653,013 penalty, with the remainder suspended based on the Global Satellite defendants’ inability to pay. However, the order provides that the full penalty will become due if the Global Satellite defendants are later found to have misrepresented their financial condition. Finally, both orders bar the defendants from violating the TSR in the future and contains monitoring and record keeping provisions to ensure their compliance.
The Commission vote approving the stipulated final judgments and orders for permanent injunction was 5-0. They were filed by the U.S. Department of Justice on the FTC’s behalf on December 7, 2006, in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, Western Division.
NOTE: Stipulated final judgments are for settlement purposes only and do not necessarily constitute an admission by the defendants of a law violation. Stipulated judgments have the force of law when signed by the judge.Copies of the consent orders in settlement of the court action are available from the FTC’s Web site at http://www.ftc.gov and also from the FTC’s Consumer Response Center, Room 130, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20580. The FTC works for the consumer to prevent fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair business practices in the marketplace and to provide information to help consumers spot, stop, and avoid them. To file a complaint in English or Spanish (bilingual counselors are available to take complaints), or to get free information on any of 150 consumer topics, call toll-free, 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357), or use the complaint form at http://www.ftc.gov/ftc/complaint.htm. The FTC enters Internet, telemarketing, identity theft, and other fraud-related complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure, online database available to hundreds of civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad.
(FTC File No. X060010; Civ. No. SA CV 05-1211 DOC (ANx))