UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION, Plaintiff,
AMERICAN TELNET, INC., a corporation,
Case No. ______ -CIV-
Plaintiff, the Federal Trade Commission ("FTC" or "Commission"), for its Complaint alleges:
1. The FTC brings this action under Sections 13(b) and 19 of the Federal Trade Commission Act ("FTC Act"), 15 U.S.C. §§ 53(b) and 57b, and the Telephone Disclosure and Dispute Resolution Act of 1992 ("TDDRA"), 15 U.S.C. § 5701 et seq., to obtain preliminary and permanent injunctive relief, restitution, disgorgement, and other equitable relief for defendants' deceptive acts or practices in violation of Section 5(a) of the FTC Act, 15 U.S.C. § 45(a), and the FTC's 900-Number Rule, 16 C.F.R. Part 308.
JURISDICTION AND VENUE
2. Subject matter jurisdiction is conferred upon this Court by 15 U.S.C. §§ 45(a), 53(b), 57b, 5711, and 28 U.S.C. §§ 1331, 1337(a), and 1345.
3. Venue in this district is proper under 15 U.S.C. § 53(b) and 28 U.S.C. §§ 1391(b) and (c).
4. Plaintiff, the Federal Trade Commission, is an independent agency of the United States Government created by statute. 15 U.S.C. § 41 et seq. The Commission enforces Section 5(a) of the FTC Act, 15 U.S.C. § 45(a), which prohibits unfair or deceptive acts or practices in or affecting commerce. The FTC also enforces the 900-Number Rule, which regulates the advertising, operation, billing, and collection of audiotext services accessed through 900 and 800 telephone numbers. The Commission may initiate federal district court proceedings to enjoin violations of the FTC Act, and the 900-Number Rule, to secure such equitable relief as is appropriate in each case, including restitution for injured consumers. 15 U.S.C. §§ 53(b), 57b, and 5711(c).
5. Defendant American TelNet, Inc. ("ATN"), is a Florida corporation with its office and principal place of business located at 855 SW 78th Avenue, Plantation, Florida 33324. ATN transacts or has transacted business in the Southern District of Florida.
6. Defendant Michael Pardes, is the president, a director, and an owner of ATN. He resides within the Southern District of Florida at 2800 Island Boulevard, PH4, N. Miami Beach, Florida 33160. At all times material to this complaint, acting alone or in concert with others, he has formulated, directed, controlled, or participated in the acts and practices of ATN, including the acts and practices set forth in this complaint. Michael Pardes transacts or has transacted business in the Southern District of Florida.
7. Defendant Ted Liebowitz is the vice president and an owner of ATN. He resides at 39 Captains Road, North Woodmere, New York 11581. At all times material to this complaint, acting alone or in concert with others, he has formulated, directed, controlled, or participated in the acts and practices of ATN, including the acts and practices set forth in this complaint. Ted Liebowitz transacts or has transacted business in the Southern District of Florida.
8. Defendant Michael Self was, until January 1998, and at times relevant to this complaint, the vice president of operations, a director, and an owner of ATN. He resides within the Southern District of Florida at 19151 SW 54th Place, Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33332. At all times material to this complaint, acting alone or in concert with others, he has formulated, directed, controlled, or participated in the acts and practices of ATN, including the acts and practices set forth in this complaint. Michael Self transacts or has transacted business in the Southern District of Florida.
9. At all times material to this complaint, defendants' course of business, including the acts and practices alleged herein, has been and is in or affecting commerce, as "commerce" is defined in Section 4 of the FTC Act, 15 U.S.C. § 44.
For the purpose of this complaint:
10. "Local Exchange Carrier" or "LEC" means the local telephone company from which a line subscriber receives his or her telephone bill.
11. "Line subscriber" means an individual or entity who has arranged with a LEC to obtain local telephone service provided through an assigned telephone number, and to be billed for such service on a monthly (or other periodic) basis.
12. "Information provider" or "IP" means an entity that offers or sells audiotext services.
13. "USA POTS" means a telephone number beginning with an area code used to access "plain old telephone service" in the United States, and "Canadian POTS" means a telephone number beginning with an area code used to access "plain old telephone service" in Canada.
14. "Pay-per-call service" has the meaning provided by section 308.2(c) of the 900-Number Rule, 16 C.F.R. § 308.2(c).
15. "Audiotext services" means information or entertainment programs that are provided over the telephone and that consumers access by dialing various 800, 888, 900, USA POTS, Canadian POTS, and international dialing patterns (or by accepting "collect" return calls), including, but not limited to, pay-per-call services.
16. "Presubscription or comparable arrangement" has the meaning provided by section 308.2(e) of the 900-Number Rule, 16 C.F.R. § 308.2(e).
17. "Providers of pay-per-call services" has the meaning provided by section 308.2(g) of the 900-Number Rule, 16 C.F.R. § 308.2(g).
18. "Telephone-billed purchase" has the meaning provided by section 308.7(a)(6) of the 900-Number Rule, 16 C.F.R. 308.7(a)(6).
19. "Billing error" has the meaning provided by section 308.7(a)(2) of the 900-Number Rule, 16 C.F.R. 308.7(a)(2).
20. "Service bureau" has the meaning provided by section 308.2(i) of the 900-Number Rule. 16 C.F.R. § 308.2(i).
21. "Billing entity" has the meaning provided by section 308.7(a) of the 900-Number Rule. 16 C.F.R. § 308.7(a)
DEFENDANTS' COURSE OF CONDUCT
ATN's Business Structure
22. Since at least 1992, defendant ATN has been a service bureau, contracting with hundreds of information providers (IPs) to offer several thousand 900-number, 800-number, and other audiotext services to the public. The audiotext services sold by ATN and its IPs are primarily of a sexually explicit nature, including party programs, live one-on-one and two-on-one chat programs, pre-recorded fantasy programs, dateline programs, and live psychic or horoscope programs. ATN generally provides its IPs with "turnkey operations," handling all aspects of the business except advertising, which is usually done by the IPs. The assistance ATN provides to its IPs includes, but is not limited to, maintaining 900-number, 800-number, and other telephone lines; maintaining all communications equipment, computers and software; operating recording studios and hiring the individuals necessary for creating the pre-recorded preambles informing callers of the nature of and charges for the audiotext services, and for creating the pre-recorded fantasy messages callers pay to hear; supplying operators for live one-on-one and two-on-one chat and psychic or horoscope services; and, arranging for or providing all billing and collection services. In almost all instances, the IPs only role is to advertise ATN's audiotext services in various media throughout the country.
23. ATN provides telephone bill processing, bill rendering, inquiry, collection and remittance services for all calls accessing its audiotext services. ATN's 800-number audiotext services are billed either via credit card or directly to the consumer's home. ATN's 900-number pay-per-call services are billed on a consumer's regular monthly telephone bill by the consumer's LEC through arrangements made by ATN. Bills for ATN's audiotext services, including LEC bills for ATN's pay-per-call services, inform consumers to contact ATN directly with all billing inquiries and complaints.
Billing System for Pay-Per-Call Services
24. Pay-per-call services accessed through ATN's 900 numbers are charged to the telephone number from which the call was placed. ATN utilizes "automatic number identification" ("ANI") to identify this telephone number. ANI is a system that electronically captures the telephone number from which a call has been placed, similar to "caller id." When a call is received by ATN, ATN's switch captures the ANI of the line from which the call originated, and a record of the call is created. This record includes the date, start time, and duration of the call, the caller's ANI, and the 900 number dialed. ATN submits this data, in a specific electronic format, to the line subscriber's LEC. The LEC then places the charges on the line subscriber's regular monthly telephone bill. ATN collects from the LEC and remits approximately 50% of the amount collected to the IP.
25. ATN relies entirely upon ANI as its basis for billing and collecting for pay-per-call services. However, ANI is not an infallible system for determining whether pay-per-call services were accessed from a line subscriber's telephone. For example, the LEC's telephone lines can be physically switched or crossed (hereafter known as "crossed wires") due to equipment failure or technological or human error, resulting in ANI identification of the wrong line subscriber. Moreover, ANI technology cannot distinguish calls originating inside the home of the line subscriber from calls originating off-premises by third-party callers who "clip-on" the line, tamper with consumers' telephone service boxes, steal the telephone signals from cordless phones, or hack into local telephone companies' computerized telecommunications systems and "hijack" consumers' telephone lines (hereafter collectively referred to as "phone theft"). In addition, because ANI only identifies current line subscribers, holders of recently reassigned telephone numbers are sometimes erroneously billed for charges incurred by prior line subscribers. Due to the fallibility of ANI, ATN, in numerous instances, bills line subscribers for pay-per-call services that were neither accessed by them, nor from their telephone.
26. Line subscribers are not legally responsible for pay-per-call services that were neither accessed by the line subscriber nor from the telephone of the line subscriber.
Response to Consumer Complaints
27. When a line subscriber calls ATN's billing inquiry line to notify ATN that the pay-per-call services for which he has been charged were accessed neither by him nor from his telephone, ATN compares the information on the consumer's telephone bill, as described by the caller, to the ANI capture that is maintained in ATN's computerized information system. Based entirely on a matching ANI capture, ATN informs the line subscriber that the calls were directly dialed from the line subscriber's telephone and that, as owner of the telephone, he is responsible for all charges incurred from the telephone.
28. If the line subscriber continues to insist that the call was neither made by him nor from his telephone, ATN informs the line subscriber that ATN will look into the dispute further, and will provide a response to the line subscriber within 7 - 10 working days. In actuality, without any further inquiry or investigation, ATN immediately generates and sends to the line subscriber a form letter stating that it cannot issue a credit for the disputed charges because the pay-per-call services were accessed and directly dialed from the line subscriber's telephone, and that the line subscriber is therefore responsible for paying the resulting charges. While ATN customer service representatives lead line subscribers to believe that the line subscriber may receive a credit as a result of their "investigation," in truth, no credit is possible because the "investigation" has already been concluded and the consumer has already been found responsible for paying all charges.
29. ATN does not, at any point in its billing and collection procedure, conduct a reasonable investigation. ATN's investigation consists of confirming that the line subscriber's bill matches ATN's ANI capture records, and, from time-to-time in response to official inquiries, obtaining the ANI call transport information from the inter-exchange-carrier, such as MCI or AT&T, that owns the 900 number through which the pay-per-call services were accessed. Nonetheless, in numerous instances, where the line subscriber has informed ATN that the call was neither made by him nor from his telephone, ATN sends notices to line subscribers stating, "ATN has conducted a thorough investigation of this matter and has sustained these charges. As subscriber of the telephone line, you are responsible for the calls made from your phone."
30. In some instances, after a line subscriber informs ATN that the line subscriber is a victim of phone theft, crossed wires, or has only recently been assigned the telephone number, ATN notifies the line subscriber that ATN will credit the line subscriber's account if the line subscriber is able to provide independent verification, such as a police report or letter from the consumer's LEC. However, at no point does ATN initiate the inquiry into the possible causes of erroneous ANI, nor does it initiate contact with any third party for verification of the line subscriber's explanation.
31. In numerous instances, ATN bills contain charges for 900-number calls that occur simultaneously with other 900-number calls or regular long distance charges that appear elsewhere on the line subscribers' bills. When a line subscriber calls to notify ATN of the overlapping error on their bill, ATN often fails to provide the line subscriber with an adequate explanation or a corrected bill.
Abusive Collection Practices
32. In numerous instances, ATN threatens line subscribers who have disputed a bill with adverse credit reports and debt-collection litigation. ATN employees in its collections division repeatedly call consumers who have disputed a bill and threaten to report the debt to a credit reporting agency, to sue the consumer, and, in some instances, to garnish the consumer's wages. ATN has sent thousands of letters to consumers that state: "We intend to pursue all legal remedies to collect this debt. If we do not receive payment from you, American Telnet may advise other credit reporting agencies of your delinquency. In addition, American Telnet may contact you at your home or office."
33. ATN does not report unpaid or delinquent bills to any credit reporting agency, nor does ATN file lawsuits to collect unpaid or delinquent debts from consumers.
34. In numerous instances, after line subscribers have been engaged in a continuing dispute with ATN over a billing error, and have received letters threatening referral to a collection agency, collection activity appears to cease. Line subscribers receive no further explanation from ATN and are left unsure of the status of their accounts.
35. ATN receives tens of thousands of complaints from consumers every year as a result of its deceptive and sloppy marketing and billing practices. The negative impact on consumers is exacerbated by ATN's deceptive and aggressive collection practices. Line subscribers who fear being reported to a collection agency or a credit bureau or being sued by ATN, and have been unable to persuade ATN to cease its collection activity, have, in numerous instances, paid ATN for audiotext services that were neither accessed by the line subscriber nor from the line subscriber's telephone. Consumers nationwide suffer monetary losses, as well as losing the time and effort expended attempting to resolve their disputes, due to defendants' unlawful practices.
36. In numerous instances, when consumers call ATN's 800, 900, or USA POTS or Canadian POTS numbers, they hear a recorded message directing them to call an international telephone number beginning with "011." The pre-recorded message informs consumers that "only international long distance rates apply." The message does not disclose that, by connecting to the specified number, consumers are immediately purchasing defendants' audiotext services, for which they accrue charges often in excess of $4.00 per minute.
Direct Billing for Audiotext Services
37. Callers to certain of ATN's 800 numbers are or have been given the option of being billed directly by ATN, rather than through the LEC on their monthly phone bill. To access this option, callers are asked to enter personal information, including their social security number and numeric street address, over the phone. However, because an individual's social security number and street address are widely available, ATN has no way of knowing whether the caller has provided his own information or that of some unsuspecting third party. Where the social security number matches the numeric street address and zip code, which ATN checks by means of an on-line vendor of personal information, consumers are granted access to audiotext services during that same phone call. ATN sends the bill to the address which matches the social security number entered by the caller. In numerous instances, consumers have been billed for audiotext services which they did not access, and were not accessed via their telephone.
Charges for Pay-Per-Call Preamble Time
38. In numerous instances, ATN has over-billed line subscribers for 900-number calls by charging those consumers for that portion of the mandatory cost-disclosure preamble which must be provided free of charge pursuant to the 900-Number Rule.
Direct-Mail Advertising Campaign
39. On or about August, 1996, ATN developed several direct-mail printed advertisements for use by IPs that contracted with ATN. These direct-mail advertisements contained "common artwork and graphics" for all IPs, but contained the specific telephone numbers of the respective IPs that participated. The advertisements were sent to past customers of ATN based on ANI information captured by ATN. According to ATN, twelve IPs participated in the direct-mail advertising program.
40. In numerous instances, the direct-mail advertisements sent by ATN in conjunction with certain of its IPs did not clearly and conspicuously disclose the cost of the advertised audiotext service. Specifically, the printed direct-mail advertisements did not contain cost disclosures that were at least one-half the size of each letter or numeral of the pay-per-call number to which the disclosure was adjacent.
VIOLATIONS OF SECTION 5 OF THE FTC ACT
41. Section 5(a) of the FTC Act, 15 U.S.C. § 45(a), prohibits unfair or deceptive acts or practices in or affecting commerce.
42. In numerous instances, in the course of attempting to collect and collecting for billed but unpaid-for pay-per-call services, after line subscribers provide notice of a billing error, defendants have made, directly or by implication, representations to line subscribers that:
43. In truth and in fact:
44. Therefore, ATN's representations, as set forth in Paragraph 42, above, are false and deceptive in violation of Section 5(a) of the FTC Act, 15 U.S.C. § 45(a).
45. In numerous instances, in the course of attempting to collect and collecting for billed but unpaid-for pay-per-call services, after line subscribers provide notice of a billing error, ATN, relying solely upon ANI, has made representations to line subscribers including but not limited to those contained in the attached Exhibits A through C. These representations include the following statements:
46. Through the means described in Paragraph 45 and others, defendants have represented, expressly or by implication, that:
47. Through the means described in Paragraph 45, ATN has represented, expressly or by implication, that it possessed and relied upon a reasonable basis that substantiated the representations set forth in Paragraph 46, at the time the representations were made.
48. In truth and in fact, ATN did not possess and rely upon a reasonable basis that substantiated the representations set forth in Paragraph 45 at the time the representations were made. Therefore, the representations set forth in Paragraph 46, were, and are, false or misleading in violation of Section 5 of the FTC Act, 15 U.S.C. § 45(a).
49. In numerous instances, in the course of attempting to collect and collecting for billed but unpaid-for pay-per-call services, ATN has sent letters to consumers that state: "We intend to pursue all legal remedies to collect this debt. If we do not receive payment from you, American Telnet may advise other credit reporting agencies of your delinquency."
50. In numerous instances, in the course of attempting to collect and collecting for billed but unpaid-for pay-per-call services, employees in ATN's customer service and collections departments have told consumers that ATN will report the debt to credit reporting agencies, file lawsuits to collect the debt, "destroy your credit," and, in some instances, "garnish your wages."
51. In truth and in fact, ATN does not report unpaid or delinquent consumer bills to credit reporting agencies, does not file lawsuits to obtain payment of unpaid or delinquent consumer bills, and has no authority or ability to garnish wages.
52. Therefore, ATN's representations, as set forth in Paragraphs 49 and 50 above, are false and deceptive in violation of Section 5(a) of the FTC Act, 15 U.S.C. § 45(a).
53. In numerous instances, when a consumer calls defendants' 800, 900, USA POTS and Canadian POTS numbers, the consumer is solicited to access defendants' audiotext services by dialing a number beginning with "011." These solicitations include statements such as: "This call is free, except for long distance rates" or "Only international long distance rates apply."
54. By calling these numbers, a consumer purchases audiotext services from defendants by paying international long distance rates often in excess of $4.00 per minute. A portion of the revenues from these international calls is paid to defendants by the overseas telephone carrier, and thus, for each minute that a consumer stays on the line, defendants' revenue for the service increases.
55. In view of defendants' representations, as set forth above in Paragraph 53, and the facts stated in Paragraph 54, the actual amount that a consumer can reasonably expect to pay for calls to defendants' audiotext services is material to a consumer's decision to place such calls.
56. Therefore, defendants' failure to disclose the actual amount that a consumer can reasonably expect to pay for calls to defendants' audiotext services is deceptive, and violates Section 5(a) of the FTC Act, 15 U.S.C. § 45(a).
VIOLATIONS OF THE 900-NUMBER RULE
57. The Commission's 900-Number Rule, 16 C.F.R. Part 308, became effective on November 1, 1993, and implements the requirements of the Telephone Disclosure and Dispute Resolution Act of 1992 ("TDDRA"), 15 U.S.C. § 5701 et seq. The 900-Number Rule establishes requirements for advertising and operating pay-per-call services, requiring, inter alia, that a provider of a pay-per-call service include cost and other disclosures both in advertisements and in an introductory message to the services. The 900-Number Rule also establishes procedures for billing and collecting charges for pay-per-call services, including a requirement that the billing entity conduct a reasonable investigation upon notification of a billing error by the line subscriber. 16 C.F.R. § 308.7(d)(2)(ii). A billing error is defined to include bills for pay-per-call services that were not accessed by the customer nor from the telephone of the customer who was billed for the purchase, as well as computation errors or errors of an accounting nature. 16 C.F.R. § 308.7(a)(2). The 900-Number Rule requires the billing entity to transmit to the customer an explanation setting forth the reasons for the determination it reached as a result of its investigation. 16 C.F.R. § 308.7(d)(2)(ii). The 900-Number Rule prohibits the billing entity from trying to collect any portion of any disputed amount until the billing entity has complied with the requirements of § 308.7(d). 16 C.F.R. § 308.7(g). In addition, the 900-Number Rule prohibits any person from using an 800 number in a manner that would result in a charge to the calling party for information conveyed during the call unless the calling party pays by credit card or has previously agreed to be billed for the information pursuant to a valid presubscription agreement; and prohibits a collect call back to the calling party. 16 C.F.R. § 308.5(i).
58. Pursuant to section 18(d)(3) of the FTC Act and Sections 201(a)(8) and (c) of the TDDRA, 15 U.S.C. §§ 57a(d)(3) and 5711(a)(8) and (c), each violation of the 900-Number Rule constitutes an unfair or deceptive practice in violation of Section 5(a)(1) of the FTC Act, 15 U.S.C. § 45(a)(1).
59. Sections 308.5(i) and 308.2(e) of the 900-Number Rule prohibit using an 800 number in a manner that would result in the calling party being charged for audiotext services conveyed during the call unless a presubscription or comparable arrangement already exists between the service provider and the calling party, or the calling party authorizes charging the call to a credit card or charge card number that is subject to the dispute resolution requirements of the Fair Credit Billing Act and the Truth in Lending Act. A presubscription arrangement must include use of an identification number or some other means sufficient to prevent unauthorized access to the audiotext service by nonsubscribers.
60. In numerous instances, where no credit or charge card authorization exists, defendants have billed consumers without an established presubscription or comparable agreement for audiotext services accessed through 800 numbers during consumers' initial 800-number call, and, therefore, have used an 800 number in a manner that resulted in the calling party being charged for information during the call without first having established a presubscription arrangement with the calling party.
61. Therefore, defendants' practices, as alleged in Paragraph 60, violate the 900-Number Rule, 16 C.F.R. § 308.5(i).
62. Section 308.7(d) of the 900-Number Rule requires a billing entity that receives notice of a billing error to either 1) correct the billing error, credit the customer's account, and notify the customer of the correction, or 2) transmit an explanation to the customer, after conducting a reasonable investigation, setting forth the reasons why the billing entity has determined no billing error has occurred, or that a different billing error occurred from that asserted by the customer, within the lesser of two billing cycles or 90 days. Unless it has taken one of these actions within 40 days after receiving notice of the billing error, the billing entity must also send a written acknowledgment notifying the customer that the disputed amount need not be paid while the billing error is being investigated. Section 308.7(g) prohibits the billing entity from trying to collect any disputed amount until the billing entity has complied with the requirements of 308.7(d).
63. In numerous instances, in connection with receiving and responding to billing error notifications and collecting for telephone billed purchases, defendants have attempted to collect disputed amounts from customers after such customers have submitted notices of billing errors to defendants but before the defendants have complied with Section 308.7(d) of the 900-Number Rule.
64. Therefore, defendants' practices, as alleged in Paragraph 63, violate the 900-Number Rule, 16 C.F.R. § 308.7(d) and (g).
65. Section 308.5(a) and (b) of the 900-Number Rule prohibits the provider of a pay-per-call service from charging a caller for that portion of the preamble which occurs before the caller is informed that charges begin. Section 308.5(l) of the Rule holds service bureaus liable for such violations where the service bureau knew or should have known of the violation.
66. In numerous instances, defendants have over-billed callers by charging them for the initial portion of preamble time that occurs prior the required disclosure that charges begin. Defendants knew or should have known that this practice was occurring.
67. Therefore, defendants' practices, as alleged in Paragraph 66, violate Section 308.5 of the 900-Number Rule. 16 C.F.R. § 308.5.
68. Section 308.3(b) of the 900-Number Rule requires the provider of a pay-per-call service to clearly and conspicuously display the cost of the call in any advertisement for the pay-per-call service. "Clearly and conspicuously" is defined to mean, inter alia, in print advertisements, that the cost disclosure shall be at least one half the size of the advertised pay-per-call number.
69. In numerous instances, defendants have created and disseminated print advertisements for pay-per-call services that do not clearly and conspicuously display the cost of the pay-per-call service.
70. Therefore, defendants' practices, as alleged in Paragraph 69, violate Section 308.3 of the 900-Number Rule. 16 C.F.R. § 308.3.
71. Consumers throughout the United States have suffered monetary losses as a result of the defendants' unlawful acts or practices. Absent injunctive relief by this Court, defendants are likely to continue to injure consumers and harm the public interest.
THIS COURT'S POWER TO GRANT RELIEF
72. Section 13(b) of the FTC Act, 15 U.S.C. § 53(b), empowers this Court to grant injunctive and other ancillary relief, including consumer redress, disgorgement, and restitution to prevent and remedy any violations of any provision of law enforced by the Commission.
73. Section 19 of the FTC Act, 15 U.S.C. § 57b, and Section 201(a)(8) of TDDRA, 15 U.S.C. § 5711(a)(8), authorize this Court to grant such relief as the Court finds necessary to redress injury to consumers or other persons resulting from defendants' violations of the 900-Number Rule.
74. Under Section 13(b) of the FTC Act, 15 U.S.C. § 53(b), this Court is authorized to issue a permanent injunction against defendants' violating the FTC Act, as well as such ancillary relief as rescission of contracts, restitution, disgorgement of ill-gotten gains, and the refund of monies paid to redress the injury to consumers or others resulting from defendants' violations of Section 5 of the FTC Act.
75. Providers of pay-per-call services are liable for refunds to consumers who paid for services provided in violation of the 900-Number Rule or any other Federal rule or law. Section 201(a)(2)(i) of TDDRA, 15 U.S.C. § 5711(a)(2)(i) and 16 C.F.R. § 308.5(k). Any billing entity who fails to comply with 16 C.F.R. §§ 308.7(c), (d), (g), (h), or (i) forfeits any right to collect from the customer any amount indicated by the customer to be in error, up to $50 per transaction. 16 C.F.R. § 308.7(j).
76. This Court, in the exercise of its equitable jurisdiction, may award other ancillary relief to remedy injury caused by defendants' law violations.
PRAYER FOR RELIEF
WHEREFORE, plaintiff, the Federal Trade Commission, requests that this Court, as authorized by Sections 13(b) and 19 of the FTC Act, 15 U.S.C. §§ 53(b) and 57b, and pursuant to its own equitable powers: