The Class Action Lawsuit against Telemarketers is a relatively new development in consumer litigation. Class actions are usually governed by the “Produce a Product” rules, but this lawsuit against telemarketers is different because it requires proof of a wrongful or deceptive act or conduct on the part of the advertiser. Telemarketing practices have come under closer scrutiny of late due to the many lawsuits and class action lawsuit filed against the industry. The Federal Trade Commission has brought many legal actions against various companies, most notably McDonald’s, because of their call centers. Recently the FTC brought a lawsuit against AT&T due to the annoying phone calls that the company’s representatives engaged in.
Now it seems that the FTC is considering taking a similar stance with regard to the advertising practices of big box stores such as Wal-Mart, Target, Best Buy etc. In the past the FTC has gone after super discount retailers, internet vendors, and television programming providers for not meeting the requirements of the Truth in Advertising Act. This is essentially a complaint about how these businesses were able to advertise their products with regards to common standards that existed long before the creation of the TIA. Now the wheels are turning and the lawsuit will no doubt be taken to a higher level.
The wheels are turning again because the Federal Trade Commission has filed a lawsuit against seven different defendants for their various practices. The suit names Wal-Mart, Sears, Kmart, Boomerang, Liberty Mutual, JCPenny, Continental Airlines, and Forever Mobile as defendants. The suit against them is captioned “Consumers Confidence Act Violation”. The crux of the suit is that the defendants did not make certain statements in their advertisements that would have reasonably mislead consumers into believing that they were purchasing an inferior product. The crux also involves some other class action lawsuit against telemarketers who were engaged in calls that resulted in consumers hanging up.
The class action lawsuit against telemarketers was sparked by a class action lawsuit that was filed against J.D. Power and Associates. After a lengthy investigation it was determined that J.D. Power improperly labeled its website as an internet marketing firm when it was in fact a data entry service. After this information discovery the FTC brought the original lawsuit against the company.
The complaint that was filed in federal court against the seven defendants named above pertains to a couple of issues. First, it refers to the practice of telemarketing and other practices as being deceptive. The complaint also points out that many times the calls that result in the complaint were so short that people could not tell the representative on the other end which call was made from which location and that this distorted the meaning of the representations that the telemarketer made. Finally, it was found that the defendants violated the Fair Credit Reporting Act because they did not include accurate information on their websites regarding how long the representative had been employed by the franchisor. The crux of the complaint states that the defendants violated the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act when they failed to inform consumers that they were violating the law when they tried to contact them via phone or internet. Many of the other complaints that pertain to telemarketing involve the same practices.
Telemarketing is one of the most common practices that are used in the Class Action Litigation process. Once the complaint has been filed in federal court, the plaintiff and defendant can elect to go to trial or settle the case without going to trial. The complaint serves as proof that there is a class of individuals who have been affected by the defendant’s conduct. For more information regarding the rules for filing a class action lawsuit click here. Remember that if you would like to learn how to file a complaint with the court system then you will want to follow the advice of your attorney.