Fri, 04/14/2017 - 08:27
The FTC has banned Justin Ramsey and his company, Prime Marketing LLC, from any kind of telemarketing that involves robocalling or dialing numbers on the National Do Not Call Registry. During the period from 2012 to 2016, Mr. Ramsey is accused of using two companies to make millions of illegal robocalls to consumers on the National DNC Registry without their consent.
On April 13, the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) announced that a settlement had been reached with Mr. Ramsey, whom they’d labeled as the “ringleader” of an illegal robocall operation. As part of the settlement order, Mr. Ramsey and his companies owe the FTC a civil penalty of $2.2 million, but an agreement was reached that permits Mr. Ramsey to pay a reduced penalty of just $65,000. The stipulation before the judge is that he will be responsible for payment of the full amount if the court is shown that he misrepresented his financial condition.
According to the complaint filed in January (Ramsey v. FTC), Mr. Ramsey and his companies collected phone numbers from websites such as yellowpages.com and 411.com. They then began calling those numbers in an attempt to sell a variety of products including: home security systems, auto warranties, solar products, debt relief services, and vacation/travel package.
1.3 Million Calls . . . 80% on DNC Registry
In a single week in 2012, Mr. Ramsey allegedly placed 1.3 million prerecorded calls, of which 80 percent of the numbers dialed were already listed on the National Do Not Call Registry. Mr. Ramsey later admitted that he’d intentionally called people on the registry.
Scammers like Mr. Ramsey are not representative of the telemarketing industry, but his bad behavior and the ensuing publicity from his and similar lawsuits cast a dark shadow over the industry as a whole. Most marketers are responsible and follow the required compliance regulations. They understand that it is illegal for telemarketers to call phone numbers on the National Do Not Cal Registry for marketing unless the recipient has provided explicit, written permission or there exists a business relationship with the caller.
The FCC says that unsolicited automated messages, such as those employed by Mr. Ramsey, account for the largest source of consumer complaints to the FCC. Telemarketers like Mr. Ramsey who blatantly disregard federal telemarketing regulations will inevitably get into trouble. The safer route is to invest time and effort into full compliance from day one of any telemarketing campaign.