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Autodialer Telemarketer Hit With $180,000 FTC Fine

The Federal Trade Commission has issued a proposed consent decree with Voice-Mail Broadcasting Corp. and its owner, Jesse Crowe. The FTC charged that Voice-Mail violated the Telemarketing Sales Rule (TSR) by making more than 46 million automated calls that featured prerecorded messages. Under the terms of the consent decree, Voice-Mail will pay $180,000 in civil penalties.

According to the FTC, since Oct. 1, 2003, Voice-Mail pitched a variety of offerings, including debt-consolidation, mortgage brokerage and other retail and financial services. The problem was that when consumers answered, as opposed to the calls being picked up by answering machines, the calls were either disconnected or played a prerecorded message.

Under the terms of the TSR, calls picked up by a consumer must be connected to a live operator within 2 seconds.

Voice-Mail’s penalty could have been stiffer: The consent decree includes a $3 million penalty against Voice-Mail and Crowe, all of which save for $180,000 has been suspended, based on defendants’ inability to pay.

The consent decree was filed in the U. S. District Court Central District of California.

Originally published in DM News

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