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                     WASHINGTON, D.C. 20554
                                      October 28, 2003

Commercial Consultants                       
2901 Neals Creek Drive                             .                   
Raleigh, North Carolina  27610-6145                    
Attn:     John Burwell, Principal
     RE:  EB-03-TC-090  

Dear Mr. Burwell: 

     This is an official CITATION issued pursuant to section 
503(b)(5) of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended (the 
Act), for violations of the Act, and the Federal Communications 
Commission's rules that govern telephone solicitation.1

     It has come to our attention that your company, or an entity 
acting on behalf of your company, delivered a telephone 
solicitation to a residential telephone line despite a previous 
do-not-call request by a member of the household.  Section 
64.1200(e) of the Commission's rules requires entities that make 
telephone solicitations to residential telephone subscribers to 
follow certain procedures to ensure that the subscribers are able 
to stop such solicitation calls.  Specifically, entities that 
advertise through telephone solicitation must (1) develop written 
policies for maintaining a do-not-call list and make such written 
policies available upon demand; (2) inform and train their 
personnel engaged in any aspect of telephone solicitation about 
the existence and use of the do-not-call list; (3) place 
consumers who request not to receive telephone solicitations on 
the do-not-call list; and (4) honor each do-not-call request for 
ten years from the time the request is made.2  In addition, the 
Commission has found that it is unlawful to call a residential 
telephone line to deliver a telephone solicitation if any member 
of the household has made a do-not-call request.3 

     Under the 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 that are made either by tax-exempt 
nonprofit organizations or to any person who has provided prior 
express invitation or permission to call or has an established 
business relationship with the caller are not considered 
telephone solicitations.4    

     The attached information provided to the Commission 
indicates that your company failed to honor a do-not-call request 
that was made by or on behalf of a residential telephone 
subscriber.  That action violated section 64.1200(e)(2)(vi) of 
the Commission's rules.

     It has also come to our attention that your company has 
delivered one or more prerecorded unsolicited advertisements to 
residential telephone lines (see attachment).  The Act and the 
Commission's Rules prohibit transmission of unsolicited 
advertisements through prerecorded messages to residential 
telephone lines except under the very limited circumstances 
described in the Rules.5   The term ``unsolicited advertisement''  
is defined in the Communications Act and the Commission's rules 
as ``any material advertising the commercial availability or 
quality of any property, goods, or services which is transmitted 
to any person without that person's prior express invitation or 
permission.''6    The attached information provided to the 
Commission indicates that your company delivered such unsolicited 
advertisements, through prerecorded messages, to one or more 
residential telephone subscribers who do not have an established 
business relationship with your company and had not expressly 
invited or authorized the call(s).  Those actions violate section 
64.1200(a)(2) of the Commission's rules.

     Separately, it appears that your company may have violated 
other Commission rules governing prerecorded messages and 
telephone solicitation.  Under section 64.1200(e)(2)(iv), any 
telephone solicitation - whether live or prerecorded - must 
provide the called party with the name of the individual caller, 
the name of the person or entity on whose behalf the call is 
being made, and an address or telephone number (which may not be 
for an autodialer or prerecorded message player) at which the 
person or entity may be contacted.7   According to the attached 
information received by the Commission, it appears that your 
telephone solicitation did not contain all the required 

     Subsequent violations of the Communications Act, and the 
Commission's rules and orders of the type described herein may 
result in the imposition of monetary forfeitures not to exceed 
$11,000 for each such violation or each day of a continuing 

     Pursuant to section 503(b)(5) of the Communications Act, you 
may request a personal  interview at the Commission's Field 
Office nearest to your place of business.  
The nearest office appears to be the Atlanta Office at 3575 Koger 
Boulevard, Room 320, Duluth, Georgia 30096-4958, which you can 
contact by telephone at (770) 935-3370.   You must schedule the 
interview to take place within 30 days of the date of this 
citation.  You should be prepared to discuss when your company 
recorded the do-not-call request(s) referenced in the attached 
consumer correspondence and why your company failed to honor such 
request(s).  You also will be expected to discuss your procedures 
for training your company's telephone solicitors as to do-not-
call responsibilities, and to specify what steps your company has 
taken to ensure future compliance with the Commission's do-not-
call rules.  Finally, you must supply a copy of your company's 
written do-not-call policy as required by section 
64.1200(e)(2)(i) of the Commission's rules.  Alternatively, you 
may submit a written statement addressing the specified topics, 
and attaching your company's written do-not-call policy, to the 
following address within 30 days of the date of this citation:

               Kurt A. Schroeder
               Deputy Chief
               Telecommunications Consumers Division
                Enforcement Bureau
               Federal Communications Commission
               445 - 12th Street, S.W.
               Washington, D.C.  20554
You should reference EB-03-TC-090 when corresponding with the 
     If you request a meeting, 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 or call the 
Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau:

          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, and audio 
     format): 202-418-0531 (voice), 202-418-7365 (tty). 

     As required by the Privacy Act of 1974, 5 U.S.C.  
552(a)(e)(3), you are hereby notified that the Commission's staff 
will use all relevant material information to determine what, if 
any, enforcement action is required to ensure your compliance 
with the Commission's rules.  This will include any information 
that you disclose in your interview or written statement

     Finally, you should be aware that 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.  1001.

     Thank you in advance for your anticipated cooperation.


                              Kurt A. Schroeder
                              Deputy Chief
                              Telecommunications Consumers 
                              Enforcement Bureau
                              Federal Communications Commission



1    47 U.S.C.  227; 47 C.F.R.  64.1200.  References to the 
Commission's rules in this citation are to the rules as they 
existed at the time of the facts at issue here.
2    47 C.F.R.  64.1200(e).
3    Consumer.Net v. AT&T, Order, 15 FCC Rcd 281, 298 (1999).

4   47 U.S.C.  227(a)(3); 47 C.F.R.  64.1200(f)(3).

5   The Commission's rules make it unlawful to ``initiate any 
telephone call using an artificial or prerecorded voice to 
deliver a message without the prior express consent of the called 
party unless the call is initiated for emergency purposes or ... 
is not made for a commercial purpose, is made for a commercial 
purpose but does not include the transmission of any unsolicited 
advertisement, [is made] to any person with whom the caller has 
an established business relationship at the time the call is 
made, or [is made by or on behalf of] a tax-exempt nonprofit 
organization.  47 C.F.R.  64.1200(a)(2), (c); see also 47 U.S.C. 
 227(b)(1)(B) (prohibiting all prerecorded calls to residential 
lines ``unless the call is initiated for emergency purposes or is 
exempted by rule or order by the Commission....'').

6   47 U.S.C.  227(a)(4); 47 C.F.R. 64.1200(f)(5).

7   47 C.F.R.  64.1200(e)(2)(iv).  In addition, the Act and the 
Commission's rules impose separate identification requirements 
for prerecorded messages.  Under section 227(d)(3)(A) of the Act, 
all prerecorded messages ``shall, at the beginning of the 
message, state clearly the identity of the business, individual, 
or other entity initiating the call, and ... shall, during or 
after the message, state clearly the telephone number or address 
of such business, other entity, or individual.''  47 U.S.C.  
227(d)(3)(A) (emphasis added); see also 47 C.F.R.  
64.1200(d)(e)(2)(iv) (imposing identification requirements for 
prerecorded messages delivered by automatic telephone dialing 

8    See 47 C.F.R.  1.80(b)(3).