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June 26, 2007
VIA CERTIFIED MAIL
RETURN RECEIPT REQUESTED
Messrs. Albert or Robert Shapiro
4041 Powder Mill Road
Beltsville, MD 20705
Re: File No. EB-07-TC-3508
Dear Messrs. Albert or Robert Shapiro:
This is an official CITATION, issued pursuant to section 503(b)(5) of the
Communications Act of 1934, as amended (the Communications Act), 47 U.S.C.
S: 503(b)(5), for violations of the Federal Communications Commission's
rules that govern telephone solicitations and unsolicited advertisements.
As explained below, you may appeal this citation. In addition, future
violations of the Commission's rules in this regard may subject you and
your company to monetary forfeitures.
Attached are consumer complaints regarding telemarketing calls that your
company, or an entity acting on behalf of your company, made to telephone
lines that are contained in the National Do-Not-Call Registry. These
complaints indicate that your company, acting under your direction, has
violated the Commission's rules regarding telephone solicitations. See 47
C.F.R. S: 64.1200(c)(2).
Section 64.1200(c)(2) of the Commission's rules generally prohibits the
delivery of telephone solicitations to residential telephone numbers that
are contained in the National Do-Not-Call Registry except in certain
limited situations. Under the Communications Act and the Commission's
rules, a "telephone solicitation" is "the initiation of a telephone call
or message for the purpose of encouraging the purchase or rental of, or
investment in, property, goods, or services, which is transmitted to any
person." Calls made by or on behalf of tax-exempt nonprofit groups are not
considered to be telephone solicitations. Similarly, calls that are made
to a person who either has provided prior express invitation or permission
to call or has an established business relationship with the caller are
not considered to be telephone solicitations. Finally, the rules permit
telephone solicitations to a consumer whose number is listed on the
National Do-Not-Call Registry if that consumer has a personal relationship
with the individual making the calls.
Accordingly, under the Commission's rules, it is unlawful to deliver a
telephone solicitation to a residential telephone line on the National
Do-Not-Call Registry unless: (1) the call is made by or on behalf of a
tax-exempt nonprofit group; (2) the call is made by a person who has a
personal relationship with the called party; (3) the called party has
provided signed, written consent for the call to be made; or (4) the
called party has made a purchase from, or had a transaction with, the
caller within the 18 months immediately preceding the call or has made an
inquiry or application regarding the caller's products or services within
the three months immediately preceding the call, and the called party has
not specifically asked the caller to stop all telemarketing calls.
Entities making telephone solicitations must honor do-not-call
registrations no later than 31 days after a number is placed on the
National Do-Not-Call Registry, and for a period of no less than five
years. To accomplish this, section 64.1200(c)(2)(i)(D) requires entities
making telephone solicitations to use a version of the National
Do-Not-Call Registry obtained no more than 31 days before any telephone
solicitation is made, and to document this process. An entity that does
not claim one of the exemptions set forth above is not liable for calling
a telephone number on the National Do-Not-Call Registry only if it is able
to demonstrate that it has fully complied with the Commission's standards
governing use of the National Do-Not-Call Registry as set out in section
64.1200(c)(2)(i)(A)-(E) of the rules, and that the particular telephone
solicitation call was the result of error.
If, after receipt of this citation, you violate the Communications Act or
the Commission's rules in any manner described herein, the Commission may
impose monetary forfeitures not to exceed $11,000 for each such violation
or each day of a continuing violation.
You may respond to this citation within 30 days from the date of this
letter either through (1) a personal interview at the Commission's Field
Office nearest to your place of business, or (2) a written statement. You
may use this response to appeal this citation. For example, you may claim
that you are exempt from the telephone solicitation rules, that you
downloaded and used the National Do-Not-Call Registry in compliance with
our rules but the person's telephone number was not on that version of the
Registry, or that the calls were made in error and should be covered by
the Commission's safe harbor provisions, 47 C.F.R. S: 64.1200(c)(2)(i). In
addition, your response should specify the actions that you are taking to
ensure that you do not violate the Commission's rules governing telephone
solicitation and unsolicited advertisements, as described above.
You may schedule a personal interview at the nearest Commission field
office. These offices are located in: Atlanta, GA; Boston, MA; Chicago,
IL; Columbia, MD; Dallas, TX; Denver, CO; Detroit, MI; Kansas City, MO;
Los Angeles, CA; New Orleans, LA; New York, NY; Philadelphia, PA; San
Diego, CA; San Francisco, CA; Seattle, WA; and Tampa, FL. Please call Al
McCloud at 202-418-2499 if you wish to schedule a personal interview. You
should schedule any interview to take place within 30 days of the date of
this letter. You should send any written statement within 30 days of the
date of this letter to:
Kurt A. Schroeder
Telecommunications Consumers Division
Federal Communications Commission
445-12th Street, S.W., Rm. 4-C222
Washington, D.C. 20554
Reference File No. EB-07-TC-3508 when corresponding with the Commission.
Reasonable accommodations for people with disabilities are available upon
request. Include a description of the accommodation you will need
including as much detail as you can. Also include a way we can contact you
if we need more information. Please allow at least 5 days advance notice;
last minute requests will be accepted, but may be impossible to fill. Send
an e-mail to email@example.com or call the Consumer & Governmental Affairs
For sign language interpreters, CART, and other reasonable accommodations:
202-418-0530 (voice), 202-418-0432 (tty);
For accessible format materials (braille, large print, electronic files,
format): 202-418-0531 (voice), 202-418-7365 (tty).
Under the Privacy Act of 1974, 5 U.S.C. S: 552(a)(e)(3), we are informing
you that the Commission's staff will use all relevant material information
before it, including information that you disclose in your interview or
written statement, to determine what, if any, enforcement action is
required to ensure your compliance with the Communications Act and the
The knowing and willful making of any false statement, or the concealment
of any material fact, in reply to this citation is punishable by fine or
imprisonment under 18 U.S.C. S: 1001.
Thank you in advance for your anticipated cooperation.
Kurt A. Schroeder
Deputy Chief, Telecommunications Consumers Division
Federal Communications Commission
47 C.F.R. S: 64.1200. A copy of these rules is enclosed for your
47 U.S.C. S: 227(a)(3); 47 C.F.R. S: 64.1200(f)(9).
Prior express invitation or permission to call a number contained on the
National Do-Not-Call Registry must be evidenced by a signed, written
agreement between a consumer and seller. The agreement must include both
the consumer's consent to be called by the particular seller and the
telephone number to which such calls may be placed. 47 C.F.R. S:
An "established business relationship" means "a prior or existing
relationship formed by a voluntary two-way communication between a person
or entity and a residential subscriber with or without an exchange of
consideration, on the basis of the subscriber's purchase or transaction
with the entity within the eighteen (18) months immediately preceding the
date of the telephone call or on the basis of the subscriber's inquiry or
application regarding products or services offered by the entity within
the three months immediately preceding the date of the call, which
relationship has not been previously terminated by either party." 47
C.F.R. S: 64.1200(f)(3). The established business relationship exception
does not apply when a telephone subscriber has made a company-specific
do-not-call request. A company-specific do-not-call request terminates an
established business relationship for telemarketing purposes even if the
requester continues to do business with the company. 47 C.F.R.
S: 64.1200(f)(3)(i); see also Rules and Regulations Implementing the
Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991, Report and Order, 7 FCC Rcd
8752, 8766 n.47, 8770 n.63 (1992); see also H.R. Rep. 102-317, 1st Sess.,
102nd Cong. at 15 (1991); Charvat v. Dispatch Consumer Services, Inc., 95
Ohio St. 3d 505, 769 N.E.2d 829 (2002).
47 C.F.R. S: 64.1200(c)(2)(iii). A "personal relationship" exists if the
recipient of the call is a "family member, friend, or acquaintance of the
telemarketer making the call." 47 C.F.R. S: 64.1200(f)(11).
The 31-day requirement applies to telephone solicitations made on or after
January 1, 2005. Rules and Regulations Implementing the Telephone Consumer
Protection Act of 1991, Order, 19 FCC Rcd 19215 (2004). Previously, the
Commission's rules provided that do-not-call registrations had to be
honored within 3 months. Rules and Regulations Implementing the Telephone
Consumer Protection Act of 1991, Report and Order, 18 FCC Rcd 14014,
14040, para. 38 (2003). The 3-month provision applied to telephone
solicitations made before January 1, 2005.
See 47 C.F.R. S: 1.80(b)(3).
See 2003 Order, 18 FCC Rcd at 14042-49; 47 C.F.R. S: 64.1200(f)(9)
(exceptions to definition of "telephone solicitation").
Federal Communications Commission DA 07-2705
Federal Communications Commission DA 07-2705
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
WASHINGTON, D.C. 20554