FCC hits marketer with nearly $3 million robocalling fine

FCC hits marketer with nearly $3 million robocalling fine

The Federal Communications Commission on Tuesday fined a travel company $2.96 million in what it is calling its largest robocall punishment to date. 

The FCC's enforcement bureau issued the fine against Travel Club Marketing, its owners and its affiliates for making at least 185 pre-recorded or autodialed calls to people's home and mobile phones without permission. 

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“All companies, and their owners, who thwart the Do-Not-Call list should expect to face severe consequences," the FCC's enforcement chief, Travis LeBlanc, said in a statement. 

The law requires express consent for companies to robocall consumers for advertising purposes. The calls at issue Tuesday were made to promote travel deals, vacations and timeshares. 

The agency has focused in on the issue lately. It recently voted to clarify robocalling rules and will hold a workshop next month about the issue and so-called spoofing technology. 

The commission said that many of the individuals called by Travel Club Marketing had placed their home number on its Do Not Call list. The FCC proposed the fine in 2011, and noted the company did not challenge the findings. 

In a June vote, the agency made it easier for people to revoke consent to be robocalled and bolstered the definition of autodialers. It also gave phone carriers the green light to offer call blocking technology.   

The agency has issued only two previous robocall fines this year and has cited three other companies for robocall violations. While Tuesday's announcement is the largest robocall fine to date, it pales in comparison to major settlement awards this year over cramming violations. 

Tuesday's fine is about $3,400 larger than one proposed against Dialing Services LLC last year. The FCC has won larger settlements from companies over specific Do Not Call violations.