TSR Case Alleges 64 Million Hang-Ups

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The Federal Trade Commission said yesterday that, at its request, the U.S. Department of Justice filed a complaint in federal court against telemarketer The Broadcast Team alleging violations of the FTC's Telemarketing Sales Rule.

The complaint accuses The Broadcast Team, Ormond Beach, FL, and its owners, Robert J. Tuttle and Mark S. Edwards, of using automated dialers to call and hang up on 64 million people on behalf of debt management services companies. It also claimed that the company abandoned 250,000 calls in delivering recordings soliciting ticket sales and 200,000 calls in delivering recordings soliciting charitable contributions.

The TSR requires telemarketers using recorded messages to connect any consumer answering the call with a live representative within two seconds.

The company also is accused of calling 1 million people on the national do-not-call list for its client Debt Management Foundation Services. DMFS' settlement with the FTC involving allegations of TSR violations was announced Jan. 25.

According to the complaint, The Broadcast Team can deliver more than 1 million prerecorded messages daily to answering machines and voice mail services and that, since Oct. 1, 2003, it has received more than $2 million in revenue for telemarketing campaigns that violate the TSR.

The complaint was filed Dec. 29 in U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida, Orlando Division, and seeks civil penalties and a permanent injunction for TSR violations. On Jan. 6 in the same court, Judge Anne Conway denied The Broadcast Team's request for a preliminary injunction to enjoin the FTC from enforcing the TSR. She concluded that the company failed to show the merit of its claims.

Kristen Bremner covers list news, insert media, privacy and fundraising for DM News and DMNews.com. To keep up with the latest developments in these areas, subscribe to our daily and weekly e-mail newsletters by visiting www.dmnews.com/newsletters

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