After filing two separate lawsuits earlier this year, Verizon Wireless has claimed victory against two companies in Florida and California for allegedly violating federal outbound telemarketing regulations, the cellular operator announced on Friday.
In a press statement, Verizon Wireless said it has won permanent injunctions to stop Intelligent Alternatives of San Diego, CA, and Resort Marketing Trends of Coral Springs, FL, from making illegal sales calls to cell phone customers in an apparent "a victory for wireless users' privacy." Intelligent Alternatives was also ordered to pay $20,000 in damages.
At the time the lawsuits were filed, Verizon Wireless characterized the suits by the U.S. wireless provider against telemarketing firms as "the first of their kind." At present, the Telephone Consumer Protection Act as well as various state laws ban the use of pre-recorded messages and auto-dialers to contact "pagers or cellular phones, or a call for which a charge is made to the calling party."
"These actions demonstrate once again our commitment to protecting our customers against invasions of their privacy," said Steven Zipperstein, general counsel and vice president of legal and external affairs at Verizon Wireless. "We will vigorously defend the strong wall of customer privacy we've built over the years through our aggressive pro-consumer policies and actions."
Verizon Wireless said it will donate the entire amount of Intelligent Alternatives’ fine to the Family Justice Center Foundation in San Diego on behalf of its HopeLine program, which aims to stamp out domestic violence and raise awareness of the issue nationwide.
The injunctions were entered as the result of court-approved settlements between Verizon Wireless and the telemarketing firms. An agreement was reached with Resort Marketing Trends on September 26 and entered in Somerset County, N.J., State Superior Court by Judge Robert B. Reed.
A separate agreement was reached with Intelligent Alternatives on October 27, and the injunction was entered in State Superior Court on November 29 in Sacramento, CA, by Judge Shelleyanne W. L. Chang.
Verizon Wireless brought its lawsuits on August 31 after the telemarketing firms apparently made hundreds of thousands of the illegal calls this past summer. The suits were brought in states where many of the calls were made.
In August 2004, Verizon Wireless won a permanent injunction against a Rhode Island spammer who was sending unsolicited text messages to cellphones.
Robert Liu is Executive Editor at TMCnet. Previously, he was Executive Editor at Jupitermedia and has also written for CNN, A&E, Dow Jones and Bloomberg. For more articles, please visit Robert Liu's columnist page
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