Sprint has been fined $7.5 million by the FCC for not complying with customers' requests to block telemarketing calls.
Several complaints about telemarketing calls gone unnoticed by Sprint's network? That is about to change now. The Federal Communications Commission has imposed its largest do-not-call violation fine against a US telecommunications company, in this case Sprint, with a whopping $7.5 million charge and a compliance plan. The investigation was sparked following a complaint from Federal Trade Commission, FTC, which accused the carrier of ignoring customer requests to not be contacted.
According to FCC, Sprint continued to contact customers who had requested to be placed on the carrier's Do-Not-Call list for marketing calls. The carrier had been sending both texts and calls with marketing pitches to its restricted customers. The decision to slap a massive fine comes after Sprint violated the settlement agreement it had entered with the commission in 2011. Sprint paid $400,000 in settlement in 2011, concluding an investigation into complaints about the carrier's conduct with the Do-Not-Call list customers.
"We expect companies to respect the privacy of consumers who have opted out of marketing calls," Travis LeBlanc, acting Chief of the Enforcement Bureau said in a press release, Monday. "When a consumer tells a company to stop calling or texting with promotional pitches, that request must be honored. Today's settlement leaves no question that protecting consumer privacy is a top enforcement priority."
In addition to the $7.5 million fine, FCC has ordered the carrier to appoint a new senior compliant officer to ensure the company does not violate the settlement terms and also trains the employees to carefully handle the Do-Not-Call requests. Sprint is also required to send a report to the FCC within 90 days and annual reports for two years to ensure the carrier stands true to its words.
Customers who have already placed a request to be on the carrier's Do-Not-Call list are not required to renew their submission but those who are willing to register their residential telephone numbers and cell phone numbers can visit FTC's Do-Not-Call Registry webpage or call 1-888-382-1222 or 1-866-290-4236. The request takes up to 31 days before the number is placed on the blocked list for marketers.