In a case brought by the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) on behalf of the Federal Trade Commission back in 2009, the District Court for the Central District of Illinois found Dish Network L.L.C. (“Dish”) liable for tens of millions of calls that violated the Telemarketing Sales Rule (“TSR”).

Telemarketing – Proceed with Caution

Specifically, the Court granted the DOJ partial summary judgment, finding that Dish initiated or caused its telemarketers to initiate: 1) several million telemarketing calls to telephone numbers listed on the National Do Not Call Registry; 2) over a million telemarketing calls to telephone numbers listed on Dish’s internal do-not-call list or those lists of its telemarketers; and 3) several million abandoned outbound telemarketing calls in violation of the TSR.

The states of California, Illinois, Ohio and North Carolina are jointly litigating the case with the federal government.

Because this ruling granted only partial summary judgment to the federal government, several issues in the case remain which are due to be addressed at trial in July of this year.

Telemarketing Advice

This decision, and various recent Telephone Consumer Protection Act rulings, underscore the importance of complying with applicable federal and state law when conducting a telemarketing campaign.  Prior to embarking on such a campaign, it is important that all telemarketing scripts are reviewed by counsel and that the actual telemarketing agents that will be working on the subject campaigns are instructed on the proper way to comply with the various laws that regulate their activities.