PSC commissioner recommends telemarketer fines

Published 11:03 pm Wednesday, December 24, 2008

A public service commissioner has recommended a total of $45,000 in fines for four out-of-state telemarketers for violating Mississippi’s No-Call law.

Commissioners say they are in the process of cracking down on violators of the state’s no-call registry because new telemarketers are entering the state without paying the $1,000 registration fee and the $50,000 surety bond required by state law.

Commissioner Brandon Presley held a hearing Monday and recommended fines for University Company of Mesa, Ariz., Leads Direct Marketing of Beverly Hills, Calif., United Direct Marketing of Mesa, Ariz., and Digitcom, also known as Voice Marketing of Lake Forest, Calif.

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“They placed calls to people who are on the no-call list. Secondly, they are not registered to do so in the state of Mississippi under the rule,” Presley said Tuesday. “One company, we actually found them guilty also of not giving their name and telephone ID number.”

The four companies failed to send representatives to the hearing, Presley said, and none of the companies responded to the written complaints against them.

An Internet search to find contact information for the four companies was unsuccessful.

Presley, who represents the northern district on the three-member commission, said that residents should record the calls if possible or write down as much information as possible, such as the date and time of the call and the phone number, if available on caller ID.

Over 1,000 complaints about alleged no-call list violators are currently being investigated. “And every day we get more,” Presley said. “So we have assigned staff solely to investigate these no-call complaints.”

Meanwhile, Presley is also proposing broadcasting PSC meetings on the Internet.

“Not everyone can make the trip to Jackson to sit in the audience for every hearing as it happens and see how we debate and rule on these issues that affect them personally,” he said.