On June 5, 2017, an Illinois federal court ordered satellite television provider Dish Network LLC (“Dish”) to pay a record $280 million in civil penalties for violations of the FTC’s Telemarketing Sales Rule (“TSR”), the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”) and state law. In its complaint, the FTC alleged that Dish initiated, or caused a telemarketer to initiate, outbound telephone calls to phone numbers listed on the Do Not Call Registry, in violation of the TSR. The complaint further alleged that Dish violated the TSR’s prohibition on abandoned calls and assisted and facilitated telemarketers when it knew or consciously avoided knowing that telemarketers were breaking the law. Continue Reading Federal Court Imposes Record Fine on TV Provider for Do Not Call Violations
On September 11, 2015, the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) announced that Lyft Inc. (“Lyft”) and First National Bank Corporation (“FNB”) violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”) by forcing their users to consent to receive automated text messages as a condition of using their services. The FCC warned that these violations could result in fines if they continue.
On July 10, 2015, the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) released a Declaratory Ruling and Order that provides guidance with respect to several sections of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”). The Declaratory Ruling and Order responds to 21 separate requests from industry, government and others seeking clarifications regarding the TCPA and related FCC rules.
On January 21, 2015, the Federal Trade Commission announced that the U.S. District Court for the Central District of Illinois granted partial summary judgment on December 12, 2014, to the federal government in its action against Dish Network LLC (“Dish”), alleging that Dish violated certain aspects of the Telemarketing Sales Rule (“TSR”) that restrict placing calls to numbers on the National Do-Not-Call Registry and an entity’s internal Do-Not-Call list. The federal government is joined in the action against Dish by four state attorneys general alleging violations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act and certain state laws related to telemarketing.
On September 2, 2014, a federal district court in California granted final approval to a settlement ending a class action against Bank of America (“BofA”) and FIA Card Services stemming from allegations that the defendants “engaged in a systematic practice of calling or texting consumers’ cell phones through the use of automatic telephone dialing systems and/or an artificial or prerecorded voice without their prior express consent, in violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”).” The court granted preliminary approval to the settlement in December 2013.
On July 31, 2014, the Federal Trade Commission published a notice in the Federal Register indicating that it is seeking public comment on its Telemarketing Sales Rule (“TSR”) as “part of the FTC’s systematic review of all current Commission regulations and guides.” In the press release accompanying the Federal Register notice, the FTC stated that its questions for the public focus on (1) the use and sharing of pre-acquired account information in telemarketing, and (2) issues raised by the use of negative-option and free-trial offers in combination with general media ads designed to generate inbound telemarketing calls from consumers. The FTC’s review process comes less than a year after the Federal Communications Commission’s revisions to its Telephone Consumer Protection Act rules became effective.
It appears as though 2014 will be a banner year for class actions, including numerous cases concerning privacy and cybersecurity issues. In an article published in Law360, two Hunton & Williams litigation partners summarize recent case law and statistics related to class actions and offer predictions for the year ahead.
On October 16, 2013, the Federal Communications Commission’s revisions to its Telephone Consumer Protection Act rules go into effect. As we previously reported, the revisions require that businesses obtain “express written consent” prior to advertising or telemarketing through (1) autodialed calls or text messages, or prerecorded calls to consumers’ mobile numbers, and (2) prerecorded calls to consumers’ residential lines. In addition, the FCC’s revisions eliminate the exemption that allowed businesses to place prerecorded advertising or telemarketing calls to a consumer’s residential phone line if the business had a pre-existing business relationship with the consumer.
On May 9, 2013, the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) released a declaratory ruling clarifying the liability of a seller for violations of the Telemarketing Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”) made by third-party telemarketers and others who place calls to market the seller’s products or services.
On November 9, 2012, a federal District Court in Washington certified a national class and a Washington state sub-class in an action alleging that Papa John’s International, Inc. (“Papa John’s”) violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”) by sending unsolicited text messages advertising its pizza products. The court determined that plaintiffs had standing and satisfied all other requirements for class certification.