FTC, Travel Marketer Settle DNC ComplaintsThe Federal Trade Commission settled a complaint against a travel marketing company accused of violating the Telephone Sales Rule's do-not-call restrictions. It is the first violation of the TSR.
Epic Resorts, King of Prussia, PA, and owner Thomas Flatley agreed this week to return the money of customers who requested but failed to receive refunds within a 30-day cancellation period. Along with violating the DNC provisions of the rule, the company misrepresented facts in its telephone offers to consumers and sent unsolicited faxes and e-mails, the FTC said.
The TSR forbids companies using telemarketing from calling consumers who have requested that they not be called. It is much like the TSR's sister provision under the Federal Communications Commission's authority, the Telephone Consumer Protection Act. However, while the TCPA lets private individuals file lawsuits against violators, the TSR can be enforced only by the federal government.
The FTC was able to prosecute in this case because some of the consumers involved kept strict records of when they were contacted by telemarketers and when they had requested a stop to calls, said Collot Guerard, attorney for the FTC's Bureau of Consumer Protection. Such evidence is rare in these cases, but the FTC will proceed against violators when possible, she said.