FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
News media information 202/418-0500
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE|
March 2, 2000
NEWS MEDIA CONTACTS:|
Rosemary Kimball (202) 418-0500.
John Winston (202) 418-7450
Washington D.C. -- The Federal Communications Commission has assessed an $85,500 forfeiture against Get-Aways, Inc. (Get-Aways) for sending unsolicited advertisements to telephone facsimile machines in violation of Section 227 of the Communications Act - the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) - and the Commission's parallel telemarketing rules. The forfeiture addresses 19 unsolicited fax advertisements promoting vacation packages that Get-Aways sent to eight consumers.
Get-Aways sent the 19 unlawful fax advertisements after the Commission had warned the company in writing that its previous unsolicited fax advertisements violated federal law and that subsequent faxes of this type could result in monetary forfeitures. On December 15, 1999, the Commission adopted a Notice of Apparent Liability (NAL) against Get-Aways, finding that the company was apparently liable for a $4,500 forfeiture for each of the 19 faxes, for a total forfeiture of $85,500. The NAL gave Get-Aways 30 days to either pay the proposed forfeiture in full, or to show why it should be reduced or should not be imposed. Because Get-Aways neither paid the forfeiture nor responded to the NAL, the Commission assessed Get-Aways the full amount of the proposed forfeiture.
This action against Get-Aways is the Commission's first forfeiture order involving a violation of the TCPA and the Commission's telemarketing rules. As consumer complaints involving unsolicited fax advertisements have increased, the Commission has intensified both enforcement and consumer education efforts to ensure that consumers are protected from intrusive and illegal telemarketing practices. In addition to taking action against Get-Aways, the Commission has issued citations to many other vendors who have sent consumers unsolicited fax advertisements. The FCC Enforcement Bureau staff has also assisted state governments with their enforcement efforts. Consumers and vendors who have questions about their rights and responsibilities under the TCPA and the Commission's telemarketing rules should contact the Consumer Information Bureau at 1-888 CALL-FCC or 1-888 TELL-FCC (TTY), or visit the Commission's web site at www.fcc.gov.
Action by the Commission February 25, 2000, by Forfeiture Order (FCC 00-67). Chairman Kennard, Commissioners Ness, Furchtgott-Roth, Powell, and Tristani.
News media contact: John Winston (202) 418-7450
Enforcement Bureau contact: Mary Romano, (202) 418-0975
Consumer Information Bureau contact: Stacey Mesa (202) 418-2513