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FTC accuses Talbots of Illegal Marketing Activities

If you have been checking out our other posts you are abreast of the regulations regarding telemarketing. For those who haven’t, well, here’s a crash course:

  • can’t use autodialers
  • can’t use prerecorded messages unless emergency or have customer permission
  • can’t contact people who signed up for the Do Not Call Registry after 30 days
  • can’t call between the hours of 9:00PM to 8:00AM
  • can’t call cell phones
  • must transmit number to caller IDs

Now you are at least up to speed for the rest of this post.

Overview of company

Talbots (NYSE:TLB) is a Hingham, MA clothing retailer. Talbots made about 3.4 million telemarketing calls last year. Their revenues were $1.495 billion back in 2008 from their direct marketing and 500+ locations.

What Happened?

So according to an article posted on the Direct Marketing Association’s (DMA) Legislative Action Center which was originally run by the Boston Globe, the FTC accuses Talbots of illegal telemarketing. The company allegedly broke some rules. Talbots calls made back in February to July of last year in regards to their Talbots and J. Jill brands violated laws outlined in the TCPA.

Apparently, Talbots didn’t let customers know they could be added to a do not call list or if they did try they would be connected to “additional recordings and additional advertising”. Instead they were “forced” to listen to a message telling them to press 1 to receive prerecorded messages regarding exclusive savings and event messages.

Talbots isn’t alone in this. The FTC has also sued companies such as Comcast Corp. and DirectTV last April, as well as a few companies promising to lower credit card debit for using “illegal prerecorded robocalls”. However, according to authorities, this isn’t Talbots first offense.

Regardless of the intentions, looks like the FTC is doing their job to keep our dinner time sacred, even if it’s a TV dinner and a Netflix rental of Lost: Season 2.