A GOP phones firm said it will appeal a multi-million dollar fine handed down by the Federal Communications Commission for making unauthorized robocalls to cellphones.
Dialing Services, LLC was hit with an almost three million dollar fine following an earlier warning by the FCC. Competitors are cheering the ruling, while the Republican firm, which worked for Mitt Romney’s 2012 presidential campaign, called the Commission’s decision “poorly reasoned.”
The FCC said in March 2013 it cited Dialing Services for making 4.7 million robocalls to mobile phones without consumer permission during the 2012 election cycle. It warned the company that if it continued to do so, the FCC would levy a fine of $16,000 per call. The FCC later found that Dialing Services “apparently continued to engage in the same practice, making at least 184 additional robocalls to consumers’ mobile phones,” according to a release.
The firm was fined $2,944,000 as a result. “Robocalling cell phones without a consumer’s consent is not only annoying, it is unlawful,” stated Travis LeBlanc, acting chief of the Enforcement Bureau. “The FCC is committed to protecting consumers from harassing, intrusive, and unwanted robocalls to cell phones, smart phones, and other mobile devices.”
Scott Goodstein, founder of Revolution Messaging, a Democratic digital firm, applauded the ruling and asked the FCC to take a tougher stand against “spammers.”
“Slapping these bad actors with a multi-million dollar fine is an important first step, but we are calling on the new leadership at the FCC to do more,” Goodstein said in a statement. “Political text message spam is only going to grow unless the FCC takes a hard line against spammers – punishing them to the full extent of the law.”
He called on FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler to “swiftly rule on our petition to stop spammers before American consumers are forced to pay the price of costly text message spam in another election season this fall.”
Dialing Services, which is based in New Mexico, called the FCC’s findings “factually inaccurate and legally baseless.”
“The Commission’s actions are poorly reasoned and made without an understanding of the industry or their effect on commerce,” the company said in a statement to C&E. “We will lay out accurate facts for the Commissioners and ask them to reconsider their decision before they enter a Forfeiture Order. If they decline to do so, we welcome the opportunity to present accurate facts and compelling legal arguments to a federal judge. “