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Crime Privacy United States

Dish Network Violated Do-Not-Call 57 Million Times 247

lightbox32 writes Dish Network has been found guilty of violating the Do Not Call list on 57 million separate occasions. They were also found liable for abandoning or causing telemarketers to abandon nearly 50 million outbound telephone calls, in violation of the abandoned-call provision of the Federal Trade Commission's Telemarketing Sales Rule. Penalties for infringing on the Do Not Call list can be up to a whopping $16,000 for each outbound call.
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Dish Network Violated Do-Not-Call 57 Million Times

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 22, 2015 @10:59PM (#48881755)

    Deesh you have been a very bad monkey.

    • by davester666 ( 731373 ) on Friday January 23, 2015 @01:30AM (#48882253) Journal

      Actual penalty: $57.00

      • 95-99% of the calls to my home phone are from robots. Some are friendly robots ("Your prescription is ready at CVS"), most are spammer robots. I finally got fed up and put the number on the Do Not Call List, and the main change has been that more robots call me and either don't play a recording at all, or else play a recording but if I press "1" to talk to their human, never connect me to a human. (And I almost always tell them I want to; usually I'll put the phone down, sometimes I'll chew them out, oft

        • by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 23, 2015 @07:38AM (#48883089)

          I used to design call center equipment

          Karma's a bitch.

        • by Krojack ( 575051 )

          These days that's totally changed, so it doesn't cost them much to make calls and abandon them

          More and more robo calls are made from hacked Asterisk servers. This cost them zero yet the owner of the hacked Asterisk server often gets a bill in the tens of thousands.

          Also when I get someone calling me and trying to offer me services of some sort, I instantly start talking over them and try to sell them various services my job offers. Two can play at that game.

    • by GroeFaZ ( 850443 )
      Do you want a James Bond-style supervillain? Because that's how you create James Bond-style supervillains.
  • by stox ( 131684 ) on Thursday January 22, 2015 @11:01PM (#48881763) Homepage

    US deficit problem SOLVED!

    • Re:In related news (Score:5, Insightful)

      by AK Marc ( 707885 ) on Thursday January 22, 2015 @11:05PM (#48881797)
      And we only need another 20 to do it to solve the debt problem.
      • by ShanghaiBill ( 739463 ) on Thursday January 22, 2015 @11:27PM (#48881895)

        And we only need another 20 to do it to solve the debt problem.

        "Rachel at cardholder services" owes me a few billion.

        • by BenJeremy ( 181303 ) on Thursday January 22, 2015 @11:40PM (#48881931)

          Argh. After they say they are calling in regards to my card ending in "...1234" I ask them to identify the bank, at which point they balk.

          Likewise, when scammers call me up about my [insert model year] [insert make] [insert model] and how my warranty is up, I ask them to name my warranty company (I know the exact terms and the company, having dealt with them a few times already), to which they have no answer. The last one got angry and hung up after I lectured her on scamming people.

          As far as I'm concerned, I fully support the use of our Predator Drone program to identify, locate, and destroy these call centers (who are most certainly not calling from anywhere in the US, let alone near the area code spoofed on my caller id)

          • by AK Marc ( 707885 ) on Friday January 23, 2015 @12:34AM (#48882091)
            It should be illegal to spoof caller ID. It's fraud. Lying for gain. They know that their real number would get blocked/ignored.
            • by Nkwe ( 604125 ) on Friday January 23, 2015 @12:48AM (#48882131)

              It should be illegal to spoof caller ID. It's fraud.

              Fraud is already illegal. Perhaps we should enforce that.

              • My assumption, since the entire country has been annoyed at Rachel and her ilk for years, and since the FBI could easily get warrants to search for her even if the NSA didn't pwn the phone companies, is that either

                • - It's really a Russian scam, out of their jurisdiction, or
                • - They're a distributed scam, run by lots and lots of people who can buy a "Rachel from Cardholder Services" audio recording kit, hire work-at-home telemarketers, and run their own cottage industry, so if they do get caught, the scam ke
              • The issue with a lot of these companies, they operate on the borders of legal and illegal. Like the guy selling Sorney, Magnetbox and the genuine Penaphonics.

            • by Sable Drakon ( 831800 ) on Friday January 23, 2015 @02:23AM (#48882403)
              Or perhaps we should change caller ID schemes? Instead of showing the number that the headers are spoofing, have CID show the actual billing number. That can't be spoofed as easily as the CID headers are.
              • I don't have caller id - I've saved multiple thousands of dollars by not adding it to my (*cough*) land line service.

                Of course, I never answer that line either... it is for receiving (*cough*) faxes, and making outgoing calls.
              • Or perhaps we should change caller ID schemes? Instead of showing the number that the headers are spoofing, have CID show the actual billing number. That can't be spoofed as easily as the CID headers are.

                Some of these lizards route their calls through IP phone systems to help obscure actual origins.

              • That would break Google Voice (and also my VoIP service where I spoof to my GV number on outgoing calls). There are legitimate reasons for spoofing caller ID.

            • It is illegal. It is not enforced. Very much like speeding. You can speed all day long. A lot of people will catch you do it. Only the cops catching you matter. It will probably never happen.
          • by sjames ( 1099 )

            My new favorite is "The Attorney General's office" notifying me I am going to be sued for writing a bad check in New York. Naturally, I can make it all go away if I send a payment now.

          • I wouldn't be surprised if more and more telemarketers were using some form of Skype Out implimentation. Can't trace that back to a user or address without an act of God against Microsoft.
          • I've taken to answering those calls in my best 'official' voice, and use a line like "Thank you for calling the FBI criminal self incarceration hotline. To schedule your surrender, press 1. por español prensa número dos."
          • by TheCarp ( 96830 )

            > Likewise, when scammers call me up about my [insert model year] [insert make] [insert model] and how my
            > warranty is up, I ask them to name my warranty company

            I had fun with these guys once. I was tired of hanging up on them so I decided to hang on the line and try to get info out of the guy after they thought they might have me. So I get put on with this guy who....asks about my car!

            Lol the audacity to claim my warranty was expiring then to not even know what kind of car I have? wow. So I told them

      • Which do you think is more likely? Worldwide currency collapse due to gloabal warming-induced food shortages in which case we owe China zero

        Or

        We actually pay back 20 trillion.

        So who's the genius now? The one who borrowed money and spent it with no intention to pay it back! Stupid Chinese fell for it.
    • by s.petry ( 762400 ) on Friday January 23, 2015 @12:00AM (#48881993)

      See what happens when you mess with Fox network?

    • Seriously... Fine them and put the company into receivership... to collect... Corps need to learn they are not above the law. Bankrupt a few large companies and they should be less brazen about not giving a crap about anything but how to make money regardless of what they are allowed to do.

  • by Kozar_The_Malignant ( 738483 ) on Thursday January 22, 2015 @11:01PM (#48881771)
    This will continue until the principals in the companies are either sent to jail, castrated, or both. Fines don't seem to work, in the rare cases where any are imposed.
    • by lgw ( 121541 ) on Thursday January 22, 2015 @11:20PM (#48881873) Journal

      The principals are disposable, interchangeable, replaceable. Fines big enough to cause a shareholder revolt will have a lasting effect, on more than just this company (as the large shareholders of Dish are likely large shareholders of many other companies). Fine em a significant percentage of the market cap of the corporation, and that will leave a mark.

      • by 31415926535897 ( 702314 ) on Friday January 23, 2015 @12:33AM (#48882089) Journal

        The principals are disposable, interchangeable, replaceable.

        Just curious, if this is true, why are they paid 100x more than anyone else in the company?

        • by Rennt ( 582550 )
          Who do you think approves the pay cheques?
        • by gl4ss ( 559668 )

          because the boards are stupid and full of rich people and the only paylevels they see are the executives so they have nothing to compare to and they just shrug and think that's what they need to pay and that they wouldn't get anyone competent at 1/10th of the price(still 10x more than usual well paid employee in the company).

        • by lgw ( 121541 ) on Friday January 23, 2015 @02:39AM (#48882439) Journal

          Just curious, if this is true, why are they paid 100x more than anyone else in the company?

          They aren't. There's a normal "power curve" distribution of salaries. You have to understand that CEOs (and to a lesser other extent senior execs of larger companies) are professional entertainers, just like movie actors and professional athletes, and you'll find the same salary distribution in each of the three groups. Sure, they entertain investors and analysts instead of the hoi polloi but even so.

          Sometimes the CEO is a founder, of course, and then his real compensation is as a major shareholder, and any salary is just number games, but when it's not there's a bidding war for those seen as the best. If you can make a company of 100,000 people just 1% more productive than the next guy, how much is it worth to the stockholders to get you instead of the next guy? Of course, it's often illusion, but that's just a risk factor in that calculation.

          • hogwash. sounds like the result of reading too many economics textbooks at the expense of living in the real world. stacked boards of directors and obscene pay packages for failure are more illustrative. just today, you can read about target:

            http://www.zerohedge.com/news/... [zerohedge.com]
            • by lgw ( 121541 )

              You do realize that a zerohedge link is about as credible as a timecube link, and less entertaining, right? The timecube guy likely gives better investment advice, as well.

              Again, the usual cases are either there is overlap between large shareholders and company officers (almost always founders), which can get a bit dirty but is mostly just a numbers game, or there's a bidding war for the guy perceived as the best for the job (how much difference in skill there really is between these guys is an unrelated m

              • you do realize that ad hominem attacks on a website link are illustrative of a tiny and only partially functional mind?

                aaah... ad hominem.. the last bastion of emotional and intellectual cowards.

                if you actually read the article, you would see it did nothing but give facts. good luck arguing with those.
        • Just curious, if this is true, why are they paid 100x more than anyone else in the company?

          Because if you price a product too low, people think it's not worth anything.

      • by lucm ( 889690 )

        Nah. If you look at the numbers, the p/e ratio of this stock is more than 2x the p/e ratio of Apple. It would take an insanely huge fine to scare away investors, especially those institutional investors who own 95% of the company. This is not a corporation that will bend over for legislators, especially pencil-pushers like the FTC.

        Also it makes no sense to adapt a fine to the market cap of a corporation. As an example, Google has 10x the market cap of Dish, but only 4x their annual revenue. Dish also has a

        • by lgw ( 121541 ) on Friday January 23, 2015 @02:51AM (#48882457) Journal

          would take an insanely huge fine to scare away investors

          Isn't that what I was suggesting. A fine of say $3 billion structured over 10 years wouldn't put them out of business, but it would be an ongoing 30% hit to earnings. Even if you think they were going to double or triple before, that will significantly hamper growth just coping with the need to come up with the outgoing cashflow. You'd likely see a longterm 20-30% hit to the stock price. Pension and mutual funds don't just shrug that sort of thing off -- their analysts and decision makers have to look smart quarter-by-quarter -- and will do something about gross executive incompetence of that sort.

          I've worked at 2 different companies where the CEO was fired, along with most of the top execs. In one case, most of the board was fired too. CEOs live in fear of that sort of thing - they give 0 shits about what you or I think, but they know who their actual bosses are.
           

    • by nedlohs ( 1335013 ) on Friday January 23, 2015 @12:22AM (#48882053)

      Dish's market cap is $34 billion. If they fine them $16,000 for of the 57 million calls then Dish certainly won't be making anymore...

      • by sjames ( 1099 ) on Friday January 23, 2015 @12:59AM (#48882181) Homepage Journal

        They knew the law and they knew how many calls they were making...

        Still, I don't want to see all those people out of work, so perhaps they should be forcibly converted to a non-profit until they work off the fines.

        • by mysidia ( 191772 ) on Friday January 23, 2015 @02:01AM (#48882353)

          They knew the law and they knew how many calls they were making...

          They should fine them $1000 per call * 57 million calls = $57 billion.

          Prohibited from releasing any employees or managers, altering policies, disposing of any property, or stopping any ongoing business operations in order to pay any portion of the fine. Any amount that cannot be paid in cash within 5 business days, to be settled by constructing a trust and transferring all remaining equity in the company to the trust, with the government assigned secure debt convertible in part or in whole to common shares on demand at any point in time, having value equilvalent to the greater of the number of shares valued at the deficit amount today and the number of shares valued at the deficit amount on the day of conversion.

          • What about the employees breaking the law? Are they permitted to release them? Alter their policy of violating the law?

            Nitpicking aside, I wholly agree. Although, the idea of forcing them to continue telemarketing and then siphoning them dry does seem somewhat appealing...

            • What about the employees breaking the law? Are they permitted to release them? Alter their policy of violating the law?

              Only after a conviction. If they want to release those people, they'll have to throw them fully to the wolves.

      • Use tithing as a reference. Set the penalty upper limit at about 10% of yearly revenue pretax, and pre double irish. Cancel all outstanding executives bonuses at the C level up to and including today as well.

    • Execs should be held liable personally. Shareholders end up taking it in the shorts thanks to the excess legal shielding that incorporation provides, which lets wreckless management sink good companies while the guilty escape with golden parachutes. Oh well.

  • Book it as revenue. Declare the budget balanced. Sell the stock when the news hits the markets. Sell the company and skip town. Wait... it is US Govt right? It has already been sold to the highest bidder, right! Dang it, I knew I would hit a snag somewhere.
  • I have discontinued their service ages ago, but without fail they keep pelting me with junk mail. Is this company selling international TV streams via dishworld.com?
  • by TheRealHocusLocus ( 2319802 ) on Thursday January 22, 2015 @11:13PM (#48881835)

    "Are you recording this, or can you set a flag that will cause this call to be flagged for review? Do it now."

    "You're calling because I have a listed phone at an address that used to have Dish Network. Yes, there is a Dish dish on the roof; two of them in fact. Despite asking you not to call, you keep calling on average every two weeks. Clearly you hope that those dishes will be turned on again right now. There is no chance of that, but if you call again here's what will happen. I will climb onto the roof and unbolt both dishes, then toss them over the edge onto the driveway. Then I will bust them apart with a sledgehammer and set fire to what parts can burn. Then I will put out the fire by pissing on it. I will save a souvenir, something with the Dish logo on it, and plant it on a pike in my front yard as a warning to Dish sales representatives. Or if you stop calling it the dishes can stay up there and wait for the next tenant. For the last time, please don't call again. Got it?"

    I got a laugh from the lady representative and she said 'Got it!"
    They didn't call again.

  • I've received all kinds of mail from them and DirectTV, but I've never got a call from them or Dish Network and I've never heard any complaints of people receiving calls from either. On the other hand I get all kinds of calls from car warranty and home security companies.

  • by Brad1138 ( 590148 ) <brad1138@yahoo.com> on Thursday January 22, 2015 @11:18PM (#48881863)
    Most of the calls are from telemarketing companies that sell Dish, not Dish themselves. I work for an authorized, small local company that sells and installs Dish (and DTV). As we see it, the biggest problem in the industry is telemarketers that sell the systems and then don't care at all about the customer. These unethical companies are the ones breaking the laws, but Dish looks the other way as long as they are sending them lots of business.

    The sad thing is, it is very possible Dish will do away with all retailers to help fix this problem, and the small, ethical, local retailers will get thrown out in the wash... This is the complete livelihood for the 5 of us that own and work at our company. We handle some large accts like our state capital, entire state prison system, state University medical center (to name just a few). My boss has built a great little company, it will be very sad to see it taken away as a result of this. This is actually quite scary, we all have over 15 years of our lives invested in this company.
    • by drinkypoo ( 153816 ) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Friday January 23, 2015 @12:02AM (#48882003) Homepage Journal

      Most of the calls are from telemarketing companies that sell Dish, not Dish themselves.

      Who cares? They retained those companies and then didn't do any checking up on them, or they did and they let it continue. Either way, they're responsible.

      The sad thing is, it is very possible Dish will do away with all retailers to help fix this problem, and the small, ethical, local retailers will get thrown out in the wash...

      Well, to be fair, Dish are massive spammers. What's ethical about the massive volumes of spam that they snail mail out?

      • We don't telemarket or go door to door or anything like that. I didn't say Dish (or the telemarketers) were ethical, I said we (our local, family owned company) are the ethical ones. We care about our customer, we give them a local place to come to or call if they have any problems or questions, we personally roll out to fix problems if needed. Good luck with that if you sign up with a telemarketer.
        • I didn't say Dish (or the telemarketers) were ethical, I said we (our local, family owned company) are the ethical ones

          So you're ethical, although you're working with and ultimately for a company which is not ethical? Just doing your job, I know, I know.

          • We do not work for Dish or Directv. We are authorized to sell, install and maintain the products. Does a salesman at a local AV store that sells Sony TV's work for Sony?

            We pride ourselves on the fact that we don't telemarket or lie to our customers. My boss is blown away that anyone would (be dumb enough to) give their SS#, CC#, birth-date, address and phone # to someone that just called them on the phone... Unfortunately people do, and then they have a problem and come to our store, because when they c
        • If Dish continues to exist, they will continue to need people to install the dishes -- whether they're outside contractors or Dish employees. Either way, you could still continue installing dishes.

          If Dish went out of business (and DirecTV's sales didn't increase to take up the slack) and demand for satellite installations decreased to the point where your company went out of business, well, that's the owner's fault for not diversifying.

          Regardless, concern for your well-being as a a Dish contractor is not a

      • What's ethical about the massive volumes of spam that they snail mail out?

        They are just trying to do their part to help fund the post office. Why do you hate postal workers?

    • by Mirar ( 264502 )

      If they could blame this on the subcontractors, wouldn't they have done that already?

      Do they have installers themselves already (in competition)? Otherwise I doubt they change anything. (If they survive.)

    • by houghi ( 78078 )

      If your boss has only one customer, then he is not really the boss of a company. He is a manager of a subsidary with all the downsides and not many of the upsides.

      • Well, we have plenty more than one customer. Your assertion is wrong and shows a complete lack of understanding how our business works.
  • by JDAustin ( 468180 ) on Thursday January 22, 2015 @11:52PM (#48881967)

    Fine them to the max and if they shut down, they shut down. That will wake up the rest of the corps that do this.

    • A more realistic method of getting corporations to actually obey laws is to hold the people who run those corporations individually responsible for the malfeasance, starting with the CEO. Fine the company too, but fine the executives. And how about a three-strikes law for those executives? Three offenses equals mandatory jail time.

      Now that's a three-strikes law I can get behind.

    • by NoKaOi ( 1415755 )

      The quarter ending 6/30/2014 shows Dish Network had a net profit of $213Million. Considering the penalty could be up to $912Billion, a full year's worth of net (not even gross, so the year would be a draw, not even a loss) profit should be the minimum . That would be $852Million, any thing less is just a slap on the wrist.

      By the way, the article is from early this morning, but Dish Network's shares are up 3.4%. Clearly shareholders aren't taking this seriously, so why should the company's executives tak

  • by tloh ( 451585 ) on Friday January 23, 2015 @12:29AM (#48882069)

    It likely isn't just DISH. I registered years ago with the national do-not-call list years ago and things have always been rather quiet. However, since last year, the number of nuisance calls to my home has increased dramatically. I'd first chalked it up the the elections. But even after the elections were over, the calls kept coming. Sometimes the numbers are spoofed, sometimes its "dead air", sometimes its a recorded message, but they all qualify as the type of unwanted calls the DNC list was supposed to protect us from. A few have confirmed their own similar experience when I complained about my problem on reddit. Does anyone know what the hell is going on with this thing? I'm sure where there is smoke there is fire.

  • by Rhyas ( 100444 ) on Friday January 23, 2015 @01:01AM (#48882189) Journal

    Until they automate, or at least expedite, the process of a consumer getting fines/money back from the telemarketers and corporations using laws already on the books, this whole DNC thing is meaningless. (Note, all the tools necessary to do this are already in place in some form or another) But that will never happen so truly DNC is, and always has been, a worthless thing.

  • Wife bought a car, xm called upto 4 time per day trying to get us to subscribe once the free trial ran out. We flat out said we are not interested stop calling and 15 minutes later they would call back.
  • by DoofusOfDeath ( 636671 ) on Friday January 23, 2015 @01:53AM (#48882327)

    Is that the phone company is allowed to let callers lie about their identity via caller ID.

    If all commercial calls could be incontrovertibly tied to corporate officers, a lot of this nonsense would end quickly.

  • The Irony of Law (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Jim Sadler ( 3430529 ) on Friday January 23, 2015 @02:15AM (#48882389)
    Despite the fact that dish Network is superior to 99% of the telemarketing companies due to the fact that Dish network actually delivers a product instead of simply taking your money and delivering nothing they are the ones that get hammered by the law. The sick part of this is that the DOJ prosecutes only a dozen or so telemarketing companies a year and they go after the ones that can pay large fines exclusively. That leaves the merry bands of thireves who are less succesful free to keep ripping people off endlessly. And unlike other issues this one is easy to solve. Each town should advertise to get homes that voluntier to be honey pots that record each and every phone call into the home. That way they could raid every telemarketing room in the US if any laws are broken at all in the solicitation. Usually the people who actually do the calling are not aware that they are commiting major crimes. The managers and owners are the ones that need to be in prisons. I've even seen an unskilled and unkowning grandma made the room manger as the room new they would be raided. The old woman had no clue and was convicted of felonies. One Nation Under God With Idiocy And Injustice For All.
  • by some old guy ( 674482 ) on Friday January 23, 2015 @07:05AM (#48883027)

    Court: Dish, you've been bad.
    Dish: Ouch! My wrist!
    Dish equity holders: Thank you, Court. The check is in the mail.

  • Dish Network stock has been going up lately, isn't that crazy

  • As someone who gets 2-4 pre-recorded calls a day on his cell phone (that has been registered on DoNotCall) I have nothing but contempt and disdain for the FCC. If you look through their settlements page you'll see that in the rare instance they prosecute a case they invariably settle for whatever profits were made by the criminal. No jail time, no seizing of all personal assets. This is akin to making a thief put back what they stole as punishment. It's no wonder these robo-calling scum keep doing what
  • by Infiniti2000 ( 1720222 ) on Friday January 23, 2015 @01:54PM (#48886139)
    Expect your prices to go up in direct proportion to any fines levied.

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