The Federal Trade Commission has filed a lawsuit against Dish,
claiming the satellite company illegally called millions of people who had
asked not to be contacted. It is seeking civil penalties and a permanent
DISH stood by its marketing techniques.
While the FTC has a "do-not-call" registry, its
telemarketing rules also prevent call-backs to customers who, though they may
not be on the national do-not-call list ask to be placed on a company's
do-not-call list. The FTC is alleging Dish marketers violated those rules.
"We have vigorously enforced the Do Not Call rules and
will continue to do so to protect consumers' right to be left alone in the
privacy of their own homes," said FTC chairman Jon Leibowitz in a
statement Thursday. "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."
The FTC pointed out that the Justice Department is currently
litigating a separate case against DISH for allegedly violating the do-not-call
list for telemarketing rules, the fruits of which led to this latest FTC suit.
"Dish respectfully disputes the merits of the complaint filed by the Federal Trade Commission," the company said in a statement. "We manage our marketing practices to best-in-class standards. In fact, our policies have been certified by an independent third party industry expert after an extensive audit. Notably, the FTC was recently denied the ability to assert these same claims by a federal court in another contested matter, and we will defend ourselves vigorously against them."