• DISH Network Charged With Do Not Call Violations
  • April 16, 2009
  • Law Firm: Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP - Los Angeles Office
  • The Federal Trade Commission and four states have charged DISH Network Corporation with violating Do Not Call Registry laws.

    In a March 25 announcement, the agency said DISH Network has been making telemarketing calls to Do Not Call phone numbers, either directly or through authorized dealers, since 2003. The FTC also said the company’s automated messages violated the federal Telemarketing Sales Rule. The complaint was filed jointly with attorneys general from California, Illinois, Ohio, and North Carolina in federal court in Illinois.

    The government is seeking a permanent injunction banning DISH Network from violating automated message and Do Not Call restrictions, and requiring that it monitor its dealers to prevent future violations. It is also seeking unspecified civil penalties.

    In a statement, the satellite television provider said it complied with the law and should not be held responsible for violations by independent retailers. "An independent audit demonstrates that DISH Network is in compliance with 'do-not-call' laws, has proper controls in place, and is well within the safe-harbor provisions of the law," the Englewood, Colorado-based company said.

    "We also believe that the FTC is equating merely doing business with an independent retailer to 'causing' or 'assisting and facilitating' violations by that retailer," DISH Network said. "We look forward to resolving these differences of opinion through the judicial process."

    The agency said it also filed two related lawsuits against two of DISH Network’s marketing dealers, Vision Quest and New Edge Satellite.

    Last year the FTC brought similar charges against two other DISH Network partners—Planet Earth Satellite and Star Satellite. Those cases were settled for a total of $95,000 in fines.