back to article Dish Network hit with $280 MEEELLION fine for relentless robocalling

An eight-year investigation into Dish Networks, a direct-broadcast satellite service provider, resulted Monday in the largest fine ever levied for privacy invasion, with Dish facing a $280m bill. The US Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission brought the case after multiple complaints that people trying to sell …

  1. sanmigueelbeer
    Thumb Up

    Hello, this is Lenny

    Warm up the popcorn, folks. The five minute damage (to robo-callers) Lenny can do what Do Not Call List can't do in ten years.

    1. julian.smith

      Re: Hello, this is Lenny

      I've got Lenny all set up and ready to go ...... but the scammers have disappeared.

      Was it something I thought?

  2. Phil Kingston

    " filed suit in 2009"

    Just me, or 8 years seem about 7 years 3 weeks and 4 days too long to reach that conclusion?

    1. jake Silver badge

      Just you.

      The rest of us think that it's about 7 years, 11 months, three and a half weeks too long.

  3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    "denying that it broke the law."

    If they're going to pay the lawyers to dispute a 475 page finding it would almost make it cheaper to pay the fine than pay lawyer rates per page.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      well know that I know i have 8 years to rake in money through a scam before hightailing it to the hot n sunny ,

      I think ill give it a go!

  4. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

    It amazes me companies get away with the "Do not call List" ignoring .

    Its not hard to catch - all the police have to do is put their phones on it and wait for the criminals to ring up and confess.

    I think most of them are "disposable" companies , expecting to be caught and to close down before being fined. Which says terrible things about our company / bankruptcy laws

    1. Alan Brown Silver badge

      "It amazes me companies get away with the "Do not call List" ignoring ."

      Dish was also one of the most egrarious spammers in existence - and blamed that on 3rd parties too.

  5. handleoclast

    There are times...

    There are times when I really wish El Reg implemented voting on articles as well as comments.

    It takes time to wade through loads of comments essentially saying "Yayyyyy!!!!" (but using more words than that). Seeing an article have 3,048 upthumbs, and being able to upthumb it oneself rather than add to the comments, would save a lot of time.

    Oh yeah, and...


    1. Martin Summers Silver badge

      Re: There are times...

      I was thinking this only yesterday, showing your appreciation (or not) for an article would be cool. I think however that certain Reg hacks who get a tough time of it already would have it even tougher. Can't really moderate dislikes!

      I also think it's a bit too Facebook and simplistic for a place like this and us commentards are a bit more highbrow than that.

    2. jake Silver badge

      Re: There are times...

      ElReg had that feature (or something similar) for a few months. Seems the authors didn't like the feedback.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Until the telephone providers are also recognised as being complicit....

    then this is just a show with the usual effect of the offending company going bust and the usual people they were advertising for excluded. In this case it was self advertising but for too long these guys have just ignored the law and effectively got away with the profit.

    The telecos know who these companies are but since they are never held as complict they do nothing.

    If you want to stop it once and for all then make the telcos liable for helping to spam their customers or the spammers will just move out of your jurisdiction and thumb their noses

  7. Ol' Grumpy

    I wish Ofcom could levy fines of this magnitude against the cold calling spam merchants clogging up Blighty's telephone tubes with PPI and non-existent accident claim calls!

    1. quxinot

      I've had instead suggested that it's grossly inadequate.

      Dish Network profits were $3,810 million just last year, according to the first google hit. So charging $280 million seems pretty mild.

      I'd like to see companies that ignore the explicit wishes of privacy of the general public fined hard enough to be shuttered. And yes, that includes the obvious internet-based ones as well. (Hell, it includes the governments also, but that'd be more difficult to enforce.)

  8. 2Nick3

    Now if only the Do Not Call List applied for political calls...

  9. DCFusor

    Enforcement for dollars

    Why is it that the injured people - no matter the crime - don't get a piece of any fines, ever?

    Or get a tax cut, or a delay in tax increases, or in fact, any benefit at all from these actions?

    The SEC also comes to mind as extracting huge fines for money laundering, fake account creation, insider trading, you name it - of course, mainly busting "the littler guys" - and zilch, nada, zip, comes back to we the people - and the perps don't even have to admit they did wrong as long as they pay,.

    A normal person steals a few bucks or throws a punch...and goes to jail. Shall we spell this "Just us" now?

    1. Alan Brown Silver badge

      Re: Enforcement for dollars

      "Why is it that the injured people - no matter the crime - don't get a piece of any fines, ever?"

      For robocalls, they are entitled to $1500 per call if filing in small claims court (TCPA)

      It's $500 a shot with triple damages for wilful violations. Using a recorded message is flat out illegal, so that's a wilful violation without even considering the breaches of the DNC list.

      The FCC will fine $11,500 per call (tripled) for robocalls and States may impose their own fines (some as high as $50k a call) for DNC violations.

      Now they've been found guilty and fined, the rest is a death of one million papercuts.

  10. Kev99 Silver badge

    You mean the FTC actually goes after robo-callers and violators of the Do Not Call List? Cripes! Did Dish refuse to kiss Trump's ass or something?

  11. anody

    What's a Do-Not-Call list?

    Well, it's a list of valid phone numbers, obviously.

    Get it, use it.

    When some years ago Canada introduced the do-not-call list, I signed up, and almost immediately started to get more robocalls.

  12. adam payne

    "The US Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission brought the case after multiple complaints that people trying to sell the pay-per-view TV provider's services were ignoring the Do Not Call registry and disturbing people who really didn't appreciate the interruption. After investigating the case, the FTC handed it to the DoJ, which filed suit in 2009."

    Plenty of companies for here ignore the TPS as well.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Disk Networks sue TVaddons for redistribution of their channel

    I thought the UK press using dish networks as their champion against Kodi and TVaddons was a perfect example of why they do not have my sympathy.

    Dish Networks have been proven to break the law and we should listen to their cries and lies against kodi and tvaddons who have have not?

    We all know who the real criminals are but getting them dealt with as the monopolies they are is proving difficult when your government representative are on their payroll

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