Utah Business that Called Pennsylvania Consumers Fined for “Do Not Call” Violations

HARRISBURG – A Utah-based company that solicited Pennsylvania consumers who were enrolled on the Do Not Call list, must pay civil penalties and investigation costs to resolve consumer complaints.

Acting Attorney General Bill Ryan said the Attorney General’s Bureau of Consumer Protection entered into a legal agreement with Feature Films for Families Inc., 5286 S. 320 W., No. A116, Murray, Utah.

The agreement ends an investigation into claims that the company violated the Telemarketing Registration Act, and Consumer Protection Law, by soliciting business from consumers who were enrolled in Pennsylvania’s Do Not Call registry.

Ryan said Feature Films for Families produces, markets and distributes “family-friendly” films for theatrical and direct-to-DVD release, and called consumers looking to sell those films, which included titles such as “The Princess and the Pea” and “Return to the Secret Garden.”

Additionally, in February 2009, the company began calling consumers to promote the theatrical release of the film “The Velveteen Rabbit,” which the company had produced.

Ryan said that the company continued to make solicitation calls to consumers despite being told that the consumers no longer wished to receive calls from the company.

Under the agreement, the company must pay $3,000 in civil penalties and $2,000 in investigative costs. Ten percent of the civil penalties will go to consumers who filed complaints that led to the legal action.

The settlement was negotiated by Deputy Attorney General Michael Gerdes of the Attorney General’s Bureau of Consumer Protection.

Ryan encouraged consumers to register their telephone numbers online at www.attorneygeneral.gov, by calling the toll-free hotline at 1-888-777-3406, or by mailing their name, mailing address, telephone number and signature to the Attorney General’s Office.

Ryan noted that the website includes an added feature, which allows consumers to verify their enrollment to find out when they first registered for the list. Online registrants will also be able to read Frequently Asked Questions, which explain the Do Not Call list and its functions.

Telemarketers who violate the provisions of the law could face a civil penalty of $1,000 per violation, which increases to $3,000 if the call is placed to a person age 60 or older who is registered on the Do Not Call list.

Consumers who are on the Do Not Call list and feel that they have received a telemarketing call that is not exempt can file a complaint with the Attorney General’s Bureau of Consumer Protection online at www.attorneygeneral.gov or by calling 1-888-777-3406.

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