North Carolina Department of Justice
North Carolina Department of Justice
North Carolina Department of Justice
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AG Cooper asks court to stop DISH Network’s unwanted calls

Release date: 3/25/2009

NC consumers report that satellite TV company violated Do Not Call laws

Raleigh:  Attorney General Roy Cooper today asked a court to stop satellite television provider DISH Network telemarketers from making unwanted sales calls to consumers listed on the Do Not Call Registry. 

“We won’t tolerate telemarketers that continue to call people who have signed up for the Do Not Call Registry,” Cooper said. “We’re enforcing the law to make sure consumers who don’t want these calls don’t keep getting them.”
 
The Federal Trade Commission, the U.S. Department of Justice and the Attorneys General of Illinois, California and Ohio also joined North Carolina in filing suit against DISH Network on Wednesday. 
 
Cooper’s complaint alleges that DISH Network telemarketers violated state and federal telemarketing laws by calling individuals listed on the national Do Not Call registry and by failing to honor consumers’ requests to stop getting the calls. Cooper also contends that some of the calls also violated state law by using an automatic dialer with a prerecorded voice to place robo calls to consumers. Robo calls are illegal in North Carolina unless a live caller first gets the consumer’s permission to play a recorded message.
 
Cooper is asking the court to bar DISH Network telemarketers from calling people on the Do Not Call Registry and from making robo calls in violation of the law. In addition, he is asking that DISH Network be required to control and monitor its telemarketers and authorized dealers for compliance with state and federal telemarketing laws.  Cooper is also seeking civil penalties of up to $500 per violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act and state penalties of $500 for the first violation, $1,000 for the second, and $5,000 for the third and subsequent violations.
 
Since 2006, Cooper’s Consumer Protection Division has received more than 250 complaints against DISH Network for making unwanted telemarketing calls to consumers on the Do Not Call registry, which is more than any other company during that time period.
 
The Do Not Call Registry began in 2003. Since then, Cooper’s office has taken action against dozens of companies for breaking Do Not Call laws, stopping the illegal calls and winning more than $1 million from violators. 
 
“Consumers who sign up for the Do Not Call Registry are making their wishes known to telemarketers,” said Cooper. “If telemarketers don’t respect your wishes, report them to my office.”
 
More than five million North Carolina telephone numbers are currently listed on the Do Not Call Registry. North Carolinians can continue to add their home and mobile telephone numbers to the list by calling 1-888-382-1222 from the number they wish to register or by visiting www.donotcall.gov. To sign up online, consumers need an active email address that can receive email as part of the registration process. After you register, companies have 30 days to remove your number from their call list. 
 
People who’ve joined the Registry but still hear from telemarketers are encouraged to report them to Cooper’s Consumer Protection Division by calling 1-877-5-NO-SCAM toll-free within the state or by filling out a complaint form at www.ncdoj.gov.
 

  Contact:  Noelle Talley (919) 716-6413