USA based Sprint is paying a USD7.5 million penalty to resolve complaints that it failed to stop contacting people who opted out of phone and text message based marketing messages.
This represents the largest Do-Not-Call settlement that the telecoms regulator, the FCC has ever reached.
In addition to the $7.5 million payment, Sprint will implement a two-year plan to ensure compliance with requirements to avoid contacting people who have opted out of being contacted. This follows a 2011 settlement with Sprint arising from complaints that Sprint made telemarketing calls to consumers who had requested to be placed on the company’s Do-Not-Call list.
“We expect companies to respect the privacy of consumers who have opted out of marketing calls,” said Travis LeBlanc, Acting Chief of the Enforcement Bureau. “When a consumer tells a company to stop calling or texting with promotional pitches, that request must be honored. Today’s settlement leaves no question that protecting consumer privacy is a top enforcement priority.”
Sprint will also be required to designate a senior corporate manager as a Compliance Officer to ensure that that complies with the terms and conditions of the compliance plan and the consent decree. It will also be required to file with the FCC an initial compliance report within 90 days and annual reports for two years.
In 2011, Sprint paid $400,000 to the U.S. Treasury as part of a consent decree resolving an investigation into consumer complaints that Sprint had made marketing calls to consumers who had asked to be placed on Sprint’s internal Do-Not-Call list.