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August 23, 2012 | By Joe Flint
Apparently satellite broadcaster Dish Network Corp. doesn't like to take no for an answer. The Federal Trade Commission has filed a lawsuit against Dish charging that it kept calling people who had previously indicated that they did not wish to be contacted by the pay-TV distributor, which is a violation of "do not call" rules. According to the suit, which was filed in U.S. District Court in the Central District of Illinois, since 2007 Dish or telemarketers working on behalf of the satellite broadcaster made "millions of outbound telephone calls to phone numbers of persons who have previously stated that they do not wish to receive an outbound telephone call made by or on behalf of Dish Network.
May 6, 2012 | By Scott J. Wilson, Los Angeles Times
Recorded, unsolicited robocalls from telemarketers are not only annoying, but also illegal in the vast majority of cases. But several types of robocalls are permitted under California's Public Utilities Code. They include: •Schools: Messages to parents or guardians concerning attendance. •Safety: Law enforcement, fire protection and health agencies can make robocalls to tell the public about current or threatened emergencies. •Danger: Petroleum, chemical and nuclear plants can use robocalls to warn residents of potentially life-threatening situations.
April 10, 2012 | David Lazarus
Bill Robbins was having trouble with telemarketers. Even though his number is on the government's Do Not Call list, he was getting about four sales pitches a week. Exasperated, Robbins contacted his phone company, AT&T, and asked that his number be changed. "That tells you how irritated I was," he said. "It's a real nuisance to change your number. " Robbins, 82, of Eagle Rock, also specified that he didn't want AT&T sharing his new number with anyone who called the old one, and that he wanted his new number unlisted.
March 29, 2012 | By Alejandra Cancino
The Federal Trade Commission said it had reached a settlement with two telemarketing companies that illegally called millions of consumers, banning the firms from the industry and requiring them to give up roughly $3 million in assets. The FTC said the companies made approximately 2.6 billion calls to consumers from January 2008 through August 2009 with prerecorded telemarketing messages about lower interest rates or auto warranties that were about to expire. The calls lured thousands of people across the country into buying expensive warranties that didn't offer much protection or signing up for worthless debt reduction services, the FTC said.
February 15, 2012 | By Andrea Chang, Los Angeles Times
Those aggravating automated telemarketing calls will be interrupting your dinner a lot less often. After receiving thousands of complaints from consumers, the Federal Communications Commission clamped down Wednesday on unwanted robo-calling by approving sweeping changes to its telemarketing rules for wireline and mobile phones. Even with the national Do Not Call Registry in effect — the initial effort to block those pesky calls — telemarketers have found ways around the rules.
February 15, 2012 | By James S. Granelli, Los Angeles Times
Got your cellphones and your landline phones on the nation's Do Not Call list, but you're still getting telemarketing calls at dinner time? Especially those aggravating automated robo-calls? The Federal Communications Commission clamped down on telemarketers Wednesday - even those you do business with, such as your bank - by placing severe limits on robo-calling and even texting. FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski said Congress and his agency have long recognized the need for consumers to have control over the telemarketing calls that come into their homes, and the FCC has long had rules to put consumers in control.
January 18, 2012 | By David Lazarus
Here's your wind-beneath-my-wings Wednesday roundup of consumer news from around the Web: --You know Jessica Alba the movie star. But what about Jessica Alba the Internet entrepreneur? After giving birth to a new baby, Alba has launched an e-commerce company at (named after her 3-year-old daughter Honor) to sell eco-friendly and toxic-free baby products and household items for a monthly subscription. She says the idea was born after she learned that toxic chemicals are in widely used, everyday products.
November 29, 2011 | David Lazarus
Howard Cohen has received dozens of calls from "Rachel" at "card member services. " At first he thought they must be from his credit card issuer. Now he knows better. "It's a scam," Cohen, 67, of Fontana told me. "All they want is to get you into some new credit card with a higher interest rate - or worse. " The "worse" in this case is possibly having your identity stolen and bogus charges run up on your plastic. The Web is dripping with complaints from consumers nationwide about the "Rachel" calls.
October 2, 2011 | By Scott J. Wilson, Los Angeles Times
Few people like junk mail, telemarketing calls or unsolicited offers that come by email. But can you stop them? Not entirely, but you can cut them back, often severely, by following these five steps: • If you haven't already, put your phone number on the Federal Trade Commission's do-not-call registry. Telemarketers have to stop calling 31 days after you register at or call 888-382-1222. This will not, however, stop calls from political organizations, charities or businesses with which you have a relationship.
December 13, 2010 | By Stuart Pfeifer, Los Angeles Times
Here is a roundup of alleged cons, frauds and schemes to watch out for. Telemarketing fraud The FBI wants to help you avoid giving your money to criminals on the telephone. Once you fall victim to telemarketing fraud, you'll almost certainly never get your money back. Before you buy, the FBI recommends that you take these precautions: Don't buy from an unfamiliar company, ask for written material by mail and check out companies on the Web. Websites for the Better Business Bureau, the state attorney general and the National Fraud Information Center are good places to start your search.
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