WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline) — The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced Jan. 10 that InfoCision Inc., a company that makes calls to consumers on behalf of charitable organizations and is based in Akron, Ohio, will pay $250,000 after allegations of misleading consumers.
According to the FTC, InfoCision’s telemarketers has reached out to consumers nationwide over the course of hundreds of charitable campaigns since 2013. The telemarketers allegedly would tell consumers that they were not calling them to solicit contributions. Yet, later in conversation, the telemarketers would often allegedly ask consumers to donate money.
Alleged conduct of this nature violates the FTC’s Telemarketing Sales Rule (TSR). Under the TSR, telemarketers calling on behalf of a charity must immediately tell consumers the name of the charity and if the purpose of the call is to request donations.
In addition to the $250,000 penalty resolving the allegations, InfoCision must revise business practices. Telemarketers at the company, when calling consumers, must truthfully disclose the name of the charity they represent, if the purpose of the call is to request contributions, and whether the contribution is a donation, monetary gift or something else of economic value.
The FTC voted 2-0 to approve the complaint and the proposed consent order, as well as to refer both to the Department of Justice.
The documents were filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio on Jan. 10 by the Department of Justice. The FTC noted the Office of the Vermont Attorney General provided assistance in the case.