AT&T Faces 'Do Not Call' Fine - InformationWeek

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11/4/2003
03:57 PM
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AT&T Faces 'Do Not Call' Fine

FCC threatens to fine the company $780,000 for telemarketing to consumers who asked not to be called again.

The Federal Communications Commission is threatening to fine AT&T $780,000 for violating federal do-not-call telemarketing rules. Unless AT&T is able to rebut the charges, the fine will represent the commission's first major "do-not-call" enforcement action.

The FCC says AT&T apparently made telephone solicitation calls to 29 consumers on 78 separate occasions after those consumers asked AT&T not to call them again. The FCC launched an investigation of AT&T's telemarketing practices after receiving more than 300 complaints in recent months.

AT&T's actions could violate a decade-old rule that requires companies not to call consumers who ask to be taken off marketing lists. The charges are unrelated to the national "do-not-call" registry that the Federal Trade Commission launched in October.

AT&T says it hasn't seen the charges and contends it can persuade the FCC that the violations did not occur. The company has 30 days to respond to the charges before the FCC makes a final ruling. If found in violation, the commission could fine AT&T $10,000 each for the 78 occasions.

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