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Co. Sued for Violating Do-Not-Call List
ACJ ^ | 11/6/03 | Jennifer Coleman

Posted on 11/06/2003 8:19:48 PM PST by Tumbleweed_Connection

SACRAMENTO (AP)--The state of California sued a home contractor Thursday, alleging telemarketers for the company violated the federal do-not-call list.

Attorney General Bill Lockyer said he believed it was the first time such a lawsuit had been filed. He said the move followed complaints from 60 people who said they had received calls from telemarketers on behalf of the company even though they had signed up for the list, Lockyer said.

``We hope that the legal action will put all telemarketers on notice that they should get a copy of the do-not-call registry and take the law seriously,'' Lockyer said. ``If they don't, it's our intention to protect the privacy rights and family time of the millions of Californians who signed up for the registry.''

Representatives from American Home Craft didn't immediately return a call seeking comment. The Hayward, Calif.-based company sells vinyl siding, texture coating, patio doors and cabinet refacing services, according to its Web site.

The lawsuit was filed Thursday in U.S. District Court in San Francisco.

Under the federal law, the company could have to pay $500 for each violation, or as much as $1,500 per violation if it's considered willful, Lockyer said.

Additionally, Lockyer has filed an unfair competition complaint under California law and is asking for at least $100,000.

The Federal Trade Commission, which oversees the do-not-call registry, said last week that the list now contains almost 54.3 million telephone numbers, and more than 51,000 complaints have been filed against telemarketers for allegedly calling numbers on the list.

Companies that repeatedly contact people who say they do not want to be called face fines of up to $11,000 for each violation.

Telemarketers have challenged the list, saying it violates their First Amendment rights. Lockyer said he's confident the list will prevail because it doesn't restrict political or religious speech, just commercial speech.

Last week, AT&T was fined $780,000 for calling its customers who had asked to be on the company's internal do-not-call list. The fine is based on alleged violations of Federal Communications Commission rules that require companies to maintain lists of people who have said they do not want to be called with sales pitches. It is separate from the do-not-call list maintained by the Federal Trade Commission, which allows consumers to put their numbers off limits to a variety of companies.


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption
KEYWORDS: ca; donotcall; dontcallist; telemarketing

1 posted on 11/06/2003 8:19:49 PM PST by Tumbleweed_Connection
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