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next article FCC CITES FIRST NATIONAL BANK AND LYFT FOR TELEMARKETING VIOLATIONS

$2.96 Million FCC fine for illegal robocalls

WASHINGTON, August 11, 2015 - The Federal Communications Commission announces a $2.96 million fine against Travel Club Marketing, Inc., its related companies, and the companies' owner Olen Miller. Travel Club Marketing, based in Tampa, Florida, made or initiated at least 185 "robocalls," all of which were unsolicited, prerecorded advertising calls to over 142 consumers who had not consented to the robocalls and the majority of whom had placed their telephone number on the National Do-Not-Call Registry. This is the largest forfeiture order the Commission has issued for robocalling violations.

"It is unacceptable to invade consumers' privacy by bombarding them with unwanted and intrusive robocalls," said Travis LeBlanc, Chief of the FCC Enforcement Bureau. "All companies, and their owners, who thwart the Do-Not-Call list should expect to face severe consequences."

The Enforcement Bureau reviewed complaints from consumers who had received unwanted prerecorded calls to residential and cell phone lines promoting travel deals, free vacations, and time-shares. In addition, many of these consumers had sought to prevent unwanted telemarketing calls by placing their telephone numbers on the National Do-Not-Call Registry.

The Commission's action finds that Travel Club Marketing, its related companies, and its owner Olen Miller willfully and repeatedly violated the Communications Act and the Commission's rules by making or initiating at least185 unlawful prerecorded advertising calls to 142 consumers. At the time of these calls, the Communications Act and Commission's rules required prior express consent for all robocalls to cell phones and either prior express consent or an established business relations for advertising robocalls to residential telephone lines. Travel Club Marketing did not have prior express consent or an established business relationship for any of the calls they made. The Commission amended the rules, effective October 2013, to rescind the established business relationship exemption and to require that prior express consent be in writing for all advertising robocalls.

For more information about the FCC's rules protecting consumers from unwanted calls and faxes, see the FCC consumer guide Rules and Resources for Dealing with Unwanted Calls and Texts at https://www.fcc.gov/robocalls.

To file a complaint with the FCC, go to https://consumercomplaints.fcc.gov/hc/en-us or contact the FCC's Consumer Center by calling 1-888-CALL-FCC (1-888-225-5322) voice or 1-888-TELL-FCC (1-888-835-5322) TTY; faxing 1-866-418-0232; or by writing to:

Federal Communications Commission
Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau
Consumer Inquiries and Complaints Division
445 12th Street, SW
Washington, DC 20554

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