Dish Network, it seems, has been rather partial to telemarketing. A little too partial. The TV provider has been found guilty of violating the Federal Trade Commission's "Do Not Call" list a staggering 57 million times.

The final ruling on a complaint lodged way back in 2009, the District Court for the Central District of Illinois also found Dish culpable for abandoning or causing telemarketers to abandon nearly 50 million outbound telephone calls. Those calls are cases where a call was "not transferred to a live sales agent within two seconds of the recipient's completed greeting"—in others, mis-management leading to telephone spam.


The ruling includes some pretty horrible examples of it affecting everyday folks, including one night worker who couldn't turn her phone off during the day because of her husband's medical condition:

"After getting repeated calls about Dish service, she took steps to put an end to the annoyance. She listened to the whole recorded sale pitch, hoping a live person would pick up so she could beg them to stop calling. When she finally got somebody on the line, she told them to put her on their Do Not Call list. She started sleeping on the couch with pencil and paper in hand so she could document the calls when they woke her up. Ultimately, she filed two complaints with her State Attorney General. Dish responded that she probably already was on the company's entity-specific Do Not Call list, but she would be added 'in an abundance of caution.' But despite all that, the calls kept coming – and according to the government's motion, she was never put on the entity-specific list."

Perhaps the worst news for Dish, though, is the FCC penalty for infringing the Do Not Call list. It can be up to $16,000 for each outbound call. Ouch. [FTC via Examiner]


Image by rafael-castillo under Creative Commons license