Home Security Company To Pay $3.4 Million Over Alleged Violation of “Do Not Call” Rules

When they say do not call, they mean do not call. One Massachusetts-based home security company didn’t follow those easy instructions and is now facing a hefty fine and slap on the wrist from federal regulators.

The Federal Trade Commission announced a settlement imposing a $3.4 million fine against Versatile Marketing Solutions for calling nearly one million consumers on the National Do Not Call Registry between Nov. 2011 and July 2012 to pitch home security services and products.

The company allegedly violated the Commission’s Telemarketing Sales Rule by purchasing millions of consumer names and phone numbers from lead generators who claimed consumers gave permission for the company to contact them about the installation of free home security systems.

The complaint alleges that in reality, the sales leads were obtained by illegal means through rampant use of robocalls from “Tom with Home Protection,” fake survey calls, and calls to phone numbers on the National Do Not Call Registry. VMS then called the consumers without first checking to see if they had registered their telephone numbers on the DNC Registry.

VMS ignored signs that the lead generators were engaged in illegal telemarketing practices after consumers said they had not given permission for the company to call and they had not given permission to receive a robocall.

Under the settlement, all but $320,700 of the fine is suspended because of the company’s inability to pay. Additionally, the company is prohibited from making abusive telemarketing calls, from calling any consumer on the DNC Registry and places restrictions on how the company can obtain and use lead-generated phone numbers in the future.

Federal regulators mean serious business when it comes to the 10-year-old Do Not Call Registry.

Last June the FTC imposed a $7.5 million penalty against a prominent refinancer of veterans’ home loans.

In October, agreed to pay $32 million to settle charges that it violated federal regulations by harassing debt collection robocalls to consumers’ cell phones. The complaint was filed on behalf of 7.7 million customers and was the largest cash payout ever for alleged violations of the Do Not Call Registry.

The FTC has issued a new information for consumers on the DNC Registry, as well as two consumer education videos explaining robocalls and what consumers should do when they receive one.

FTC Reaches Settlement With Home Security Company that Called Millions of Consumers on National Do Not Call Registry [Federal Trade Commission]

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  1. Thorzdad2 says:

    Are these the guys with that annoying “Crime is up in your area” recorded robocall? Good riddance.

    • CharlesWinthrop says:

      Well looks like they were right after all. They just left out the part where THEY were the criminals.

  2. furiousd says:

    Is there anywhere I can see whether or not the fines from this type of thing ever go to the people that had to put up with this? I can understand recovering the costs of litigation on their behalf, but whenever I see that someplace was fined or has to pay a penalty for doing something wrong I wonder if the persons wronged ever get due recompense. For instance, the piles of money the Bank of America has had to pay for the mortgage foreclosure deals. Did any of the people who lost their homes get any of that money?