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Oh Dish, What's Your 'Ish?' - Being Sued by FTC for Unlawful Predictive Dialer Use

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August 27, 2012

Oh Dish, What's Your 'Ish?' - Being Sued by FTC for Unlawful Predictive Dialer Use

By Jamie Epstein, TMCnet Web Editor

Even though predictive dialers were created with the sole intention of actually helping companies in any industry connect with consumers by getting out an important message right away, sometimes this technology falls into the wrong hands. And it looks like that may be exactly what happened when Dish Network powered some unwanted sales calls.

Recent headlines are revealing that a new court case has just been filed in which the company is being accused by the Federal Trade Commission for allegedly making calls to millions of people who have previously opted out of future promotions. When a consumer opts out, it means they are telling the company they no longer want to be contacted by them; hence the satellite provider is in direct violation of the communication law named the FTC's (News - Alert) Telemarketing Sales Rule. This regulation mandates that once someone requests to be removed from the company's call list, even if they are not part of the National Do Not Call list the business must comply.

According to the lawsuit, Dish is being blamed for contacting individuals with the goal of having them buy its satellite TV service. To add to the annoyance, consumers answered these calls from not only company officials but also its authorized dealers.

"It is particularly disappointing when a well-established, nationally known company – which ought to know better – appears to have flagrantly and illegally made millions of invasive calls to Americans who specifically told Dish Network to leave them alone," said FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz (News - Alert), in a statement.

When this case is all said and done, the FTC is hoping that Dish will be penalized for these harassing calls and will be forced to ante up some monetary allocations to pay for this wrongdoing.  

It hasn’t been a good year for Dish, as the company has already dug itself into a pretty deep hole with the Department of Justice who revealed the company has not complied with the National Do Not Call Registry and the Telemarketing Sales Rule.

The satellite TV provider has responded to these claims in a statement that said, “DISH respectfully disputes the merits of the complaint filed by the Federal Trade Commission. We manage our marketing practices to best-in-class standards. In fact, our policies have been certified by an independent third party industry expert after an extensive audit. Notably, the FTC was recently denied the ability to assert these same claims by a federal court in another contested matter, and we vigorously will defend ourselves against them.”

I guess we will have to wait and see the judge’s take on whether or not these actions fall outside the parameters of the law. Someone that could have a rather large smile on its face after hearing about the troubles DISH is facing though could very well likely be Cablevision.

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Edited by Allison Boccamazzo

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