Three Utah Based Telemarketing Firms Face $1 Trillion Dollar Fine For Calling People On The “Do Not Call” List
Three Utah-based telemarketing firms face a massive $1 Trillion fine from the U.S. DOJ on behalf of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). The three telemarketing firms are waiting on the judge to decide how much they’ll have to pay.
It’s the first time complaints about the “Do Not Call” list have gone to a federal jury trial. The Florida jury gave the FTC everything they wanted. Furthermore, the court found the three companies engaged in deceptive and unlawful telemarketing. The three companies made more than 117 million illegal calls to consumers.
The jury verdict covered six different violations facing the three firms. The three firms were Feature Films for Families, Corporations for Character and Family Films of Utah. In addition, the jury also agreed with the FTC that telemarketers made misleading statements while selling DVDs. Furthermore, the jury also found the companies failed to transmit the name of the company to caller IDs.
Consumers Told The DVDs Were Part Of A Fundraiser
The DOJ complaint also states the companies conducted a nationwide telephone campaign named Kids First. The companies offered to send two complimentary DVDs. As a result, the companies requested feedback from participants about whether the movies should be included on a recommended film list. The telemarketers did not disclose that participants would later receive calls pitching DVDs produced by the companies.
Telemarketers told consumers that all the proceeds were for a fundraiser. They also stated the fundraiser will, “help us finish up creating this recommended viewing list to help parents and grandparents with a list we can trust,”
The FTC also alleges that the three companies pocketed 93% of the proceeds of the telemarketing endeavor. The organization responsible for the Kids First recommended viewing list receiving nothing.
Eric Allen, an attorney for Allen, Mitchell & Allen PLLC, who represents other telemarketing firms, told KSL-TV:
“They will never be able to pay $100 million or a trillion dollars, but perhaps there will be some sort of post-judgment settlement under which the FTC gets something to give back to consumers. This will be probably a catastrophic event for these companies. I think we all have to take a hard look at this case and say, ’Look, we need to invest more carefully on the front end on compliance. We need to spend more money, more time, hire more staff — whatever it takes to make sure we are not violating the law.’”