The Missouri Attorney General's office filed complaints Friday against national long-distance telephone services providers AT&T, MCI and Southwestern Bell, charging them with violating federal telemarketing do-not-call laws.
Missouri consumers complained that telemarketers for the three companies continued to call them despite their requests not to be called, the attorney general's office said. Under the federal Telephone Consumer Protection Act, companies engaged in telemarketing must cease calls to consumers upon their request and must maintain in-house no-call lists of those consumers, retaining their names for at least one year.
The state attorney general's office said it had asked the three companies for copies of their in-house no-call lists. In response, the companies filed papers in Cole County court in Missouri to block the office's efforts to obtain the lists, the attorney general's office said.
Telephone companies are exempt from Missouri's state no-call law. In a statement, Missouri attorney general Jay Nixon said he would use “every tool available,” including federal laws, to battle unwanted intrusions by telemarketers.
The number of alleged violations by the long-distance providers was not specified.