Dish Network Violates ‘Do Not Call’ Registry, Calls Over 57 Million People

Dish Network was apparently more annoying than a drunken ex who calls here and there in the middle of the night for more than just a few people over the last few years.

The Federal Trade Commission found Dish Network liable for making over 57 million calls which violated federal telemarketing rules. Millions of people registered on the Do Not Call list were also contacted by Dish Network, according to CBS News.

Some people who sat through a very long recording faced charges on their cell phones, hundreds of dollars in some instances, just to tell a Dish representative not to call their numbers again. The calls still did not stop, according to dBTechno.

In a release issued on Wednesday, the Federal Trade Commission said U.S. District Judge Sue E. Myerscough in the Central District of Illinois wrote an opinion which was a partial judgment in a case the justice department filed against Dish Network in March 2009, Newsmax reported.

“The court found Dish liable for 4,094,099 calls it or its vendors made to numbers on the Registry and for 2,730,842 calls its retailers made to numbers on the Registry,” said the FTC. “The court found that the government met its burden to hold Dish liable for the retailers’ calls since: 1) Dish retained the retailers, 2) Dish authorized the retailers to market Dish products and services, and 3) the retailers violated the (Telemarketing Sales Rule) by initiating Dish telemarketing calls to numbers on the Registry).”

Dish is accused of continuing to call those who asked not to be called again. More than one million customers on Dish Network’s own do not call list were contacted again. Dish is also accused of causing telemarketers to make more than 49.5 million “abandoned calls.”

In turn, Dish Network blamed the FTC for making “a mess” of the Do Not Call registry.

“(The FTC) has outsourced the management of the National Do Not Call Registry to contractors, with minimal oversight, resulting in a Registry that is inaccurate and that the U.S. Government itself characterizes as ‘a mess.'”

Dish maintains it had no knowledge of what third party telemarketers were doing on their own, and claims it has nothing to do with the actions of those parties.

The U.S. District Court for the Central District of Illinois will hold a trial in July. It is unknown what type of penalty Dish could face.

CBS News states, “Penalties for violating the Telemarketing Sales Rule can be up to $16,000 for each instance.”

Dish updated its policies last year and offers an explanation of how it handles unwanted calls on its website, and claims that its internal do not call list restricts sales calls only. Surveys, billing, and other calls will not be covered. Dish Network also gives customers the number for the National Do Not Call List, which is 1-888-328-1222.