Ergen’s DISH in trouble over sales calls

Dish Network, the US DTH giant, is in trouble with the US government over tele-marketing sales calls. The broadcaster has already faced sanctions when back in April the Federal Trade Commission filed its lawsuit alleging that Dish had violated the FTC’s rules and breached its ‘Do Not Call’ lists of consumers who had opted not to get sales calls.

“We have vigorously enforced the Do Not Call rules and will continue to do so to protect consumers’ right to be left alone in the privacy of their own homes,” said FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz, at the time. “It is particularly disappointing when a well-established, nationally known company – which ought to know better – appears to have flagrantly and illegally made millions of invasive calls to Americans who specifically told DISH Network to leave them alone.”

At the April hearing Dish had asked the judge to reconsider the sanctions already tabled, describing them as unfair, erroneous and disproportionate. Judge Myerscough’s sanctions prohibit Dish from using documents about the scrubbing of telemarketing campaign lists. She also ordered an instruction advising the jury that it may, but does not have to, infer that destroyed evidence was not favorable to the company.

On September 13th, Dish’s lawyers, faced with demands for additional sanctions in the action, reportedly produced computer listings which showed 71 million calls had been made. The case continues.

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