The Federal Trade Commission has levied a $5.34 million fine against DirecTV to settle charges that its telemarketers called households listed on the national do-not-call registry to pitch satellite TV programming. According to the New York Times, the proposed settlement, if approved by a federal judge in Los Angeles, would be the commission’s largest civil penalty in a consumer protection case. In all 17 previously settled no-call cases, the agency assessed only $808,500 in penalties.
DirecTV, the biggest U.S. satellite TV company, says it has ended its relationship with the telemarketing firms that made inappropriate calls and put in place procedures to ensure there was no repeat of the violations. The proposed settlement also requires DirecTV to operate a desk to handle complaints stemming from its marketing practices.