Even though consumers requested that DISH Network and its telemarketers stop calling them and put their numbers on an internal do-not-call list, the company repeatedly violated the Telemarketing Sales Rule (TSR) by making millions of illegal calls, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has alleged.

DISH, as well as third parties authorized on the company’s behalf, placed calls in an attempt to sell the satellite television company’s programming, goods and services. According to the complaint filed in federal court in Illinois, “millions” of outbound calls were made illegally since September 1, 2007.

The agency is seeking a permanent injunction as well as monetary penalties of up to $11,000 for each violation of the Rule that occurred on or before February 9, 2009, and up to $16,000 for each violation that occurred thereafter.

DISH is already facing similar litigation. The Department of Justice, on behalf of the FTC and the Attorneys General of California, Illinois, Ohio, and North Carolina, is currently litigating a case launched in 2009 against DISH over allegations that DISH and authorized third-party telemarketers made calls to consumers on the National Do Not Call Registry, as well as robocalls (autodialed recorded messages) to consumers in violation of the TSR.

To read the complaint in FTC v. Dish Network, click here.

Why it matters: FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz said the suit was a reminder to all companies that the agency vigorously enforces the Do Not Call rules. “It is particularly disappointing when a well-established, nationally known company – which ought to know better – appears to have flagrantly and illegally made millions of invasive calls to Americans who specifically told DISH Network to leave them alone,” he said in a statement.