• On April 21, 2011, the FTC announced that Electric Mobility Corp. (EMC), the maker of Rascal Scooters, will pay a $100,000 fine to settle the agency’s complaint against it for violations of the Do Not Call Rules. The complaint alleges that EMC used phone numbers gathered from sweepstakes entry forms to contact consumers whose numbers are on the Do Not Call Registry. The FTC’s Telemarketing Sales Rules allow a company to call a consumer on the Do Not Call Registry for up to 18 months if the company has an “established business relationship” with the consumer and the consumer has not asked the firm to stop calling. A completed sweepstakes entry is insufficient to establish a business relationship with a consumer. The settlement agreement states that EMC is subject to a larger fine of $2 million, but that fine is suspended based on its inability to pay. United States v. Electric Mobility Corp., Case No. 1:11-cv-02218 (D.N.J., filed Apr. 19, 2011); FTC File No. 062-3132.
  • The FTC will host a forum on May 11, 2011, in Washington, DC, to examine how the government, businesses, and consumer protection organizations can work together to prevent consumers from receiving unauthorized third-party charges on their phone bills — a practice known as “cramming”. The forum, which will be held at the FTC’s satellite building conference center, will be open to the public. The FTC invites interested parties to submit comments on cramming prevention through the FTC’s online comment form no later than April 27, 2011. The FTC’s Press Release on the Cramming Forum can be found here. Comments can be submitted to the FTC here.