Dish Settles `Do Not Call’ Telemarketing Dispute
Love getting all those spam telephone calls? Then here’s something that might bring music to your ears:
Direct-to-home satellite TV operator Dish Network settled Friday an 11-year-old dispute with the U.S. government involving a $210 million telemarketing penalty for allegedly making “millions” of illegal calls to promote its satellite TV services between 2003-2011.
According to a filing on Friday with the federal court in Springfield, Illinois, a cut of the settlement also goes to the states of California, Illinois, North Carolina and Ohio, which will all share $84 million of the sum, after $126 million goes to the federal government.
Dish previously settled related claims with the 46 other states.
In a statement on the ruling Friday, Dish admitted to no wrong doing while stressing it maintains “rigorous telemarketing compliance procedures and policies. While we respectfully disagree with the underlying liability judgment, which involves telemarketing calls made between 2003 and 2011, this matter is now resolved.”
A Reuters report on the case said the current chapter of the lawsuit dates back to March 2009 and cited Dish and its contractors for allegedly dialing up consumers on the federal Do Not Call Registry. The targeted consumers were then allegedly played prerecorded “robocall” messages.
In June 2017 Dish was found liable by U.S. District Judge Sue Myerscough for placing more than 65 million calls. The lawsuit came after Dish settled related claims by the other 46 U.S. states. Myerscough ordered Dish to pay $280 million and hire a telemarketing compliance expert, but after upholding the ruling an Illinois federal appeals court in March ordered that damages be recalculated to reflect the actual “harm done” rather than basing a penalty on a percentage of company profits.
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By Greg Tarr
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