The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) on Tuesday announced voice broadcasting firm Skyy Consulting, which does business as CallFire, has agreed to stop transmitting robocalls to consumers, and pay a $75,000 civil penalty as part of its settlement with the government body. The FTC charged that CallFire violated the Telemarketing Sales Rule (TSR), which puts consumers in charge of the number of telemarketing calls they get at home.
Callfire, headquartered in Santa Monica, California, provides voice broadcasting services over the Internet. Like many companies in the business, it uses computers to send pre-recorded messages to multiple recipients at once.
F**k it, we'll do it live!
The FTC charged that CallFire “assisted and facilitated” its clients in placing outbound pre-recorded telemarketing calls to consumers without their written consent. Furthermore, the commission charged that the defendants either knew, or consciously avoided knowing, that their clients were violating the TSR.
The FTC’s settlement bars the company from initiating robocalls or otherwise violating the TSR. CallFire is also being ordered to review all pre-recorded messages it delivers and terminate its contracts with any clients who are found to be delivering illegal pre-recorded telemarketing calls.
CallFire naturally should have been doing all of this anyway. The change here is that the company has been given 120 days to review all existing pre-recorded messages hosted on its platform to ensure they are complying with the TSR. In other words, if you were getting calls from CallFire’s clients, you should notice a significant drop in the next few months.
You can read the FTC’s charges for yourself in the following document:
Telemarketing robocalls have been illegal since September 2009, but the FTC only started seriously cracking down on them last year. In October 2012, it kicked off a competition offering $50,000 to whoever could solve the illegal telemarketing problem and announced winners last month. None of the proposed solutions have been implemented yet, and it seems litigation will be the main method used for quite some to come.
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