You Said Do Not Call but Some Telemarketers are Doing it Anyway

January 5th, 2012

More than 209 million U.S. phone numbers are now registered on the FTC’s Do Not Call Registry Data Book. But despite some strict rules, there are companies that are violating the Registry. The  FTC   fined Americall Group, Inc., an Illinois teleservice company that represents financial entities as well as companies promoting magazines, educational materials, beauty products, and household products, in December of 2011 when it discovered it was actually training its employees to ignore consumers’ requests to be placed on the company’s Do Not Call list.  How did the FTC know?  Apparently, Americall put it in black and white right in its representative training manual.  In addition, the company engaged in caller ID spoofing by disguising what is displayed on caller IDs with fake or generic information instead of its name or the name of the company on whose behalf Americall was calling.  For example, when making calls for National Fire Insurance, the caller ID actually read “Gas Rebate Center.”

Americall will be paying a $500,000 civil penalty, and is barred from continuing to violate the Telemarketing Sales Rule.  Regarding the settlement, the Director of the Bureau of Consumer Protection at the FTC stated:

“When it comes to the Do Not Call provisions, compliance is not rocket science. It includes honoring a consumer’s request to be placed on a specific do not call list, and not messing with anyone’s caller ID.  Legitimate companies comply with the law every day.”

Read more about the Do Not Call Registry here.

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