Avid Telecom Ordered by FCC to Cease Health Insurance-Related Robocalls
A cease-and-desist letter has been issued by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to Avid Telecom, a company currently facing lawsuits from Attorneys General across the United States for their alleged involvement in robocall activities. The FCC’s letter, addressed to Avid CEO Michael Lansky, states that the commission has found evidence indicating that the company “appears to be originating illegal robocall traffic on behalf of one or more clients.” This conclusion was reached after collaborating with USTelecom’s Industry Traceback Group, which investigated prerecorded telemarketing calls related to health insurance that were identified by the aforementioned state attorneys general as unauthorized robocalls.
According to the investigation, Avid Telecom was found to be the source of these calls. When confronted about the matter, Avid informed the traceback group that their customer had obtained consent through opt-in websites. However, the FCC clarified in its letter that the customer “failed to provide sufficient disclosures to obtain consent,” meaning they did not inform individuals that by giving consent, they were authorizing the caller to use an auto-dialer or prerecorded voice for advertising or telemarketing purposes. Additionally, there were allegations that the customer continued to call people even after they had withdrawn their consent.
The FCC has outlined a series of steps that Avid Telecom must take to address the issue. Initially, the company is required to investigate the identified traffic. Subsequently, Avid must implement measures to prevent both new and existing customers from utilizing their network for illegal calls. Within 48 hours of receiving the letter, Avid is obligated to provide the FCC with an update on the actions taken to mitigate robocalls originating from their network. Following that, the company must inform the commission about the safeguards put in place to prevent their customers from making robocalls using Avid’s network. The FCC has cautioned that failure to comply with these requirements may result in downstream voice service providers permanently blocking all of Avid’s traffic.
In late May, Attorneys General from 48 states collectively filed a lawsuit against Avid Telecom, an Arizona-based VoIP services provider. The lawsuit accuses the company of originating over 7.5 billion calls to individuals listed on the National Do Not Call Registry. Avid allegedly engaged in call spoofing, making the calls appear as if they were coming from government offices, law enforcement agencies, and reputable companies such as Amazon. The Attorneys General are seeking an injunction to prohibit Avid from making robocalls, as well as seeking damages and restitution for those affected by the company’s illegal calls.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about robocall activities
What is the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) ordering Avid Telecom to do?
The FCC is ordering Avid Telecom to cease its health insurance-related robocalls and take necessary measures to prevent illegal calls from their network.
Why did the FCC issue a cease-and-desist letter to Avid Telecom?
The FCC issued the cease-and-desist letter to Avid Telecom after determining that the company was apparently originating illegal robocall traffic on behalf of one or more clients, as confirmed by investigations conducted by USTelecom’s Industry Traceback Group.
What were the allegations against Avid Telecom regarding the robocalls?
Avid Telecom faced allegations of making health insurance-related robocalls without obtaining proper consent from the recipients. It was claimed that the company failed to adequately disclose the extent of the consent given by individuals, including the authorization for telemarketing messages using auto-dialers or prerecorded voices.
What steps does Avid Telecom need to take to address the issue?
Avid Telecom is required to investigate the identified traffic, implement measures to prevent both new and existing customers from making illegal calls using their network, and provide updates to the FCC on the actions taken to mitigate robocalls. They must also inform the commission of the safeguards implemented to prevent customers from utilizing their network for robocalls.
What consequences will Avid Telecom face if they fail to comply with the FCC’s orders?
If Avid Telecom fails to comply with the FCC’s orders, downstream voice service providers have the authority to permanently block all traffic from Avid Telecom.
What legal actions have been taken against Avid Telecom?
Attorneys General from 48 states have filed a lawsuit against Avid Telecom, accusing the company of originating over 7.5 billion robocalls to individuals on the National Do Not Call Registry. The lawsuit seeks an injunction to stop Avid Telecom from making robocalls and requests damages and restitution for those affected by the illegal calls.
More about robocall activities
- [Cease-and-Desist Letter (PDF)](link to the PDF)
- [USTelecom’s Industry Traceback Group](link to the website)
- [FCC’s Official Website](link to the website)
- [Attorneys General Lawsuit](link to the news article)