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Last summer, the FTC fined Dish Network $280 million for violating the Telemarketing Sales Rule and the Telephone Consumer Protection Act.  Now, as a result of a class action lawsuit, consumers who were contacted by Dish Network telemarketers may be able to collect up to $1,200 per call.

In early April, a US District Court concluded that callers on the national Do Not Call Registry who received calls from Dish Network in 2010 and 2011 may submit claims for cash payments. The verdict was announced after 18,000 class members, who registered to the Do Not Call Registry, received unsolicited calls from Dish retailers trying to sell subscriptions. You can read more about the lawsuit at dishclassaction.com.

The National Do Not Call Registry was created by the FTC in 2003 as a resource for consumers who wanted to opt out of unwanted telemarketing calls. After registering your phone number with the Registry, it is illegal for telemarketers to make unwanted calls to you. Some organizations are exempt from abiding by the Registry, such as charities, political groups, and debt collectors. You may report unwanted calls to the FTC once you are on the Registry for over a month.

You can check to see if you are eligible to submit a claim on this website. Since you may not remember off the top of your head if Dish Network telemarketers called you in 2010, all you have to do is enter your telephone number to check your eligibility. Eligible claimants have until June 18, 2018 to submit their claim. Some eligible claimants already received a notice and payment form in the mail as well. But remember to watch out for scams! Only submit your claim using the form or link on the litigation website and do not provide personal information, such as social security numbers, to callers trying to “verify” your eligibility.

The Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation operates the state’s Do Not Call Registry and you can sign up on our website. Similar to the national Registry, consumers can register their phone numbers to prevent telemarketing calls. It is completely free to sign up and the registration never expires. If you are still receiving unsolicited calls, you may file a complaint against a business with the Attorney General’s Office.

If you have additional questions, contact the Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation by calling our Consumer Hotline at (617) 973-8787, or toll-free in MA at (888) 283-3757, Monday through Friday, from 9 am-4:30 pm. Follow the Office on Facebook and Twitter, @Mass_Consumer. The Baker-Polito Administration’s Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation along with its five agencies work together to achieve two goals: to protect and empower consumers through advocacy and education, and to ensure a fair playing field for Massachusetts businesses. The Office also oversees the state’s Lemon Laws and Arbitration Program, Data Breach reporting, Home Improvement Contractor Programs and the MA Do Not Call Registry.

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