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December 9, 2005
BEDMINSTER, N.J. -- In a victory for wireless users' privacy, Verizon Wireless has won permanent injunctions to stop two telemarketing firms from making illegal sales calls to cell phone customers. The lawsuits, based on information from Verizon Wireless customers and company employees who received the calls, were the first of their kind initiated by a U.S. wireless carrier to protect wireless customers from illegal telemarketing calls.
Both firms, Intelligent Alternatives of San Diego, CA, and Resort Marketing Trends of Coral Springs, FL, have been permanently barred from making calls to Verizon Wireless customers by using auto-dialers and recorded messages. Federal consumer protection law prohibits use of auto-dialers or pre-recorded messages in calls to cell phones.
Intelligent Alternatives will also pay $20,000 in damages. Verizon Wireless will donate the entire amount to the Family Justice Center Foundation in San Diego on behalf of its HopeLine® program. Verizon Wireless, a recognized corporate leader in the fight against domestic violence, works to prevent domestic violence and raise awareness of the issue nationwide through the company's HopeLine program.
"These actions demonstrate once again our commitment to protecting our customers against invasions of their privacy," said Steven Zipperstein, general counsel and vice president of legal and external affairs at Verizon Wireless. "We will vigorously defend the strong wall of customer privacy we've built over the years through our aggressive pro-consumer policies and actions."
The injunctions were entered as the result of court-approved settlements between Verizon Wireless and the telemarketing firms. An agreement was reached with Resort Marketing Trends on September 26 and entered in Somerset County, NJ, State Superior Court by Judge Robert B. Reed. A separate agreement was reached with Intelligent Alternatives on October 27, and the injunction was entered in State Superior Court on November 29 in Sacramento, CA, by Judge Shelleyanne W. L. Chang. The suits were brought in states where many of the calls were made. Verizon Wireless brought its lawsuits on August 31 after the telemarketing firms apparently made hundreds of thousands of the illegal calls this past summer.
The company's record of protecting customer privacy puts Verizon Wireless at the forefront of the U.S. wireless industry. This summer, Verizon Wireless secured a court order to halt a Tennessee-based company's illegal practice of obtaining and selling confidential customer telephone records. Last month, Verizon Wireless also obtained an immediate injunction against a Florida-based private investigative agency and its affiliates to stop their attempts to fraudulently gather confidential customer information, and filed a lawsuit seeking an injunction against another Florida company to stop it from sending tens of thousands of unsolicited text messages, also known as "wireless spam," to Verizon Wireless customers.
Verizon Communications Inc.
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