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Federal Communications Commission
Washington, D.C. 20554
) File No. EB-06-TC-377
In the Matter of
) NAL/Acct. Nos. 200832170007,
Cost Crunch, Inc. d/b/a
) FRN: 0017275355
Adopted: May 3, 2010 Released: May 5, 2010
By the Chief, Enforcement Bureau:
1. In this Forfeiture Order ("Order"), we issue a monetary forfeiture in
the amount of $22,500 against Cost Crunch, Inc. ("Cost Crunch") for
willful and repeated violations of section 227 of the Communications Act
of 1934, as amended ("Act") and the Commission's related rules and orders,
by delivering at least five unsolicited advertisements to the telephone
facsimile machines of at least four consumers.
II. BACKGROUND AND DISCUSSION
2. The facts and circumstances surrounding this case are set forth in the
Commission's Notices of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture and need not be
reiterated at length.
3. Section 227(b)(1)(C) of the Act makes it "unlawful for any person
within the United States, or any person outside the United States if the
recipient is within the United States . . . to use any telephone facsimile
machine, computer, or other device to send, to a telephone facsimile
machine, an unsolicited advertisement." On September 11, 2006, in response
to one or more consumer complaints alleging that Cost Crunch had faxed
unsolicited advertisements, the Enforcement Bureau ("Bureau") issued a
citation to Cost Crunch, pursuant to section 503(b)(5) of the Act for
using a telephone facsimile machine, computer, or other device, to send
unsolicited advertisements for radios and low cost megaphones, in
violation of section 227 of the Act and the Commission's related rules and
orders. The citation informed Cost Crunch that within thirty (30) days of
the date of the citation, it could either request an interview with
Commission staff, or provide a written statement responding to the
citation. Cost Crunch did not request an interview or otherwise respond to
4. Following the issuance of the citation, the Commission received
complaints from four consumers alleging that Cost Crunch faxed at least
five unsolicited advertisements to them. These violations, which occurred
after the Bureau's citation, resulted in the issuance of three Notices of
Apparent Liability for Forfeiture against Cost Crunch on January 11, 2008,
in the amount of $4,500; on June 12, 2008, in the amount of $13,500; and
on September 26, 2008, in the amount of $4,500. The NALs ordered Cost
Crunch either to pay the proposed forfeiture amounts within thirty (30)
days or submit evidence or arguments in response to the NALs to show that
no forfeitures should be imposed or that some lesser amounts should be
assessed. Steve Markland, owner at Cost Crunch, responded to the January
11, 2008, NAL stating that he had nothing to do with the alleged
violation. Cost Crunch did not respond to the June 12, 2008, NAL or to the
September 26, 2008, NAL.
5. Cost Crunch did not substantively respond to any of the NALs and has
accordingly failed to identify facts or circumstances to persuade us that
there is a basis for modifying the proposed forfeitures. We are therefore
not aware of any further mitigating circumstances sufficient to warrant a
reduction of the forfeiture penalties. Based on the information before us,
we hereby impose a total forfeiture of $22,500 for Cost Crunch's willful
or repeated violation of section 227 of the Act and the Commission's
related rules and orders, for the reasons set forth in the NALs.
III. ORDERING CLAUSES
6. Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED, pursuant to section 503(b) of the
Communications Act of 1934, as amended, 47 U.S.C. S: 503(b), and section
1.80(f)(4) of the Commission's rules, 47 C.F.R.
S: 1.80(f)(4), and under authority delegated by sections 0.111, 0.311 of
the Commission's rules, 47 C.F.R. S:S: 0.111, 0.311, that Cost Crunch,
Inc. IS LIABLE FOR A MONETARY FORFEITURE to the United States Government
in the sum of $22,500 for willfully and repeatedly violating section
227(b)(1)(c) of the Communications Act, 47 U.S.C. S: 227(b)(1)(c), section
64.1200(a)(3) of the Commission's rules, 47 C.F.R. S: 64.1200(a)(3), and
the related orders.
7. Payment of the forfeiture shall be made in the manner provided for in
section 1.80 of the Commission's rules within thirty (30) days of the
release of this Order. If the forfeiture is not paid within the period
specified, the case may be referred to the Department of Justice for
collection pursuant to section 504(a) of the Act. Payment of the
forfeiture must be made by check or similar instrument, payable to the
order of the Federal Communications Commission. The payment must include
the NAL/Account Number and FRN Number referenced above. Payment by check
or money order may be mailed to Federal Communications Commission, P.O.
Box 979088, St. Louis, MO 63197-9000. Payment by overnight mail may be
sent to U.S. Bank - Government Lockbox #979088, SL-MO-C2-GL, 1005
Convention Plaza, St. Louis, MO 63101. Payment by wire transfer may be
made to ABA Number 021030004, receiving bank TREAS/NYC, and account number
27000001. For payment by credit card, an FCC Form 159 (Remittance Advice)
must be submitted. When completing the FCC Form 159, enter the
NAL/Account number in block number 23A (call sign/other ID), and enter the
letters "FORF" in block number 24A (payment type code). Cost Crunch will
also send electronic notification on the date said payment is made to
Johnny.Drake@fcc.gov. Requests for full payment under an installment plan
should be sent to: Chief Financial Officer -- Financial Operations, 445
12th Street, S.W., Room 1-A625, Washington, DC 20554. Please contact
the Financial Operations Group Help Desk at 1-877-480-3201 or email:
ARINQUIRIES@fcc.gov with any questions regarding payment procedures.
11. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that a copy of the Forfeiture Order shall be
sent by First Class Mail and Certified Mail Return Receipt Requested to
Cost Crunch, Inc., d/b/a Talk Toolbox, Attn: Steve Markland, 115 Rexford
Lane, Alpharetta, GA 30022; 135 Rexford Lane, Alpharetta, GA 30022; 1066
Union Center Drive, Alpharetta, GA 30004; 1068 Union Center Drive,
Alpharetta, GA 30004; 6625 Highway 53, Dawsonville, GA 30534; 1282
Smallwood Dr. W, Suite 3, Waldorf, MD 20603 and 160 Starboard Way,
Alpharetta, GA 30022 .
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
P. Michele Ellison
Chief, Enforcement Bureau
47 U.S.C. S: 227.
See 47 U.S.C. S: 503(b)(1). The Commission has the authority under this
section of the Act to assess a forfeiture against any person who has
"willfully or repeatedly failed to comply with any of the provisions of
this Act or of any rule, regulation, or order issued by the Commission
under this Act ...."; see also 47 U.S.C. S: 503(b)(5) (stating that the
Commission has the authority under this section of the Act to assess a
forfeiture penalty against any person who does not hold a license, permit,
certificate or other authorization issued by the Commission or an
applicant for any of those listed instrumentalities so long as such person
(A) is first issued a citation of the violation charged; (B) is given a
reasonable opportunity for a personal interview with an official of the
Commission, at the field office of the Commission nearest to the person's
place of residence; and (C) subsequently engages in conduct of the type
described in the citation).
See Cost Crunch Inc., Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture, 23 FCC
Rcd 186 (Enf. Bur. 2008), Cost Crunch Inc., Notice of Apparent Liability
for Forfeiture, 23 FCC Rcd 9240 (Enf. Bur. 2008), and Cost Crunch Inc.,
Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture, 23 FCC Rcd 13872 (Enf. Bur.
2008) (collectively "NALs").
47 U.S.C. S: 227(b)(1)(C); 47 C.F.R. S: 64.1200(a)(3).
Citation from Kurt A. Schroeder, Deputy Chief, Telecommunications
Consumers Division, Enforcement Bureau, File No. EB-06-TC-377, issued to
Cost Crunch on September 11, 2006.
See 47 U.S.C. S: 503(b)(5) (authorizing the Commission to issue citations
to persons who do not hold a license, permit, certificate or other
authorization issued by the Commission or an applicant for any of those
listed instrumentalities for violations of the Act or of the Commission's
rules and orders).
See n.3 supra; see also 47 U.S.C. S: 503(b)(1).
Letter from Steve Markland, Owner, Cost Crunch, to the Office of the
Secretary, FCC, received February 19, 2008.
47 U.S.C. S: 504(a).
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Federal Communications Commission DA 10-766
Federal Communications Commission DA 10-766