FTC says InfoCision telemarketers misled consumers - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

FTC says InfoCision telemarketers misled consumers

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WASHINGTON -

A telemarketing company with offices in Austintown, Boardman and New Castle has agreed to pay a $250,000 penalty to settle allegations that it misled consumers by falsely saying they were not calling to solicit contributions.

The Federal Trade Commision says since 2013, the Akron based InfoCision Incorporated has conducted hundreds of telemarketing campaigns reaching consumers nationwide on behalf of charitable organizations.

In some of those campaigns, the FTC alleges, InfoCision’s telemarketers called consumers and told them at the start of the call that they were not calling to ask for a donation.

In addition to the payment of the civil penalty, the proposed settlement also bars InfoCision from violating an FTC rule which requires telemarketers calling on behalf of a charity to promptly tell you the charity they’re calling for and tell you if the purpose of the call is to seek a donation.

According to the FTC, the telemarketers asked consumers to mail or hand-deliver materials requesting donations to family members, friends, or neighbors.

In addition, in many cases, despite initially saying they were not calling to solicit donations, InfoCision’s telemarketers allegedly asked consumers to donate money, typically in amounts ranging from $10 to $50.

Based on this conduct, the complaint charges the defendant with making false or misleading statements to induce consumers to make a charitable contribution, in violation of the TSR.

The proposed order settling the FTC’s charges bars InfoCision, in connection with its telemarketing activities, from making any false or misleading statements designed to induce anyone to pay for goods or services or make a charitable contribution.

The order also requires InfoCision, when making outbound telemarketing calls to induce a charitable contribution, to truthfully disclose:

The name of the charity on whose behalf it is making the call

That the purpose of the call is to solicit a charitable contribution

Whether the contribution sought is a donation, monetary gift, or anything else of value.

The order also bars the defendant from violating the TSR in the future.

Finally, the order includes standard recordkeeping and monitoring provisions to ensure compliance with its terms.

According to the company website, InfoCision has eight call centers in Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.

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