Archive for the 'Resort Complaints' Category

Time-share Companies fined $1.2M for telemarketing calls

Wednesday, January 28th, 2009


Timeshare Companies fined $1.2M for telemarketing calls

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WASHINGTON – One of the nation’s largest time-share companies is going to be shelling out nearly a $1 million for making phone calls to people on the national “Do Not Call” list, federal regulators said Tuesday.

Westgate Resorts, based in Orlando, Fla., was named in a complaint filed on behalf of the Federal Trade Commission. The agency alleged that Westgate and two other companies placed thousands of telemarketing calls to people on the list. The FTC says Westgate has agreed to pay $900,000 to settle the charges.

The commission on Tuesday also announced a $275,000 settlement with another Florida-based travel company, Accumen Management Services Inc., and its subsidiary, All in One Vacation Club, LLC. The company made telemarketing calls to consumers who had filled out entry forms for a sweepstakes to win vacation packages. Many of those called, the FTC said, were on the Do Not Call registry and did not agree to receive the telemarketing pitches for timeshares and vacation getaways.

In the case of Westgate, the agency received several thousand complaints from consumers.

The commission said Westgate bought phone numbers from an Internet-based lead generator that collected contact information in connection with offerings on its Brandarama.com web site.

The two other companies named in the Westgate complaint are: Central Florida Investments Inc., and CFI Sales and Marketing, LLC., which both did telemarketing for Westgate.

The combined fines of $1.17 million will go to the U.S. Treasury.

Calls to Westgate and Accumen seeking comment were not immediately returned.

The latest enforcement actions bring to 40 the number of Do Not Call cases the government has filed against companies since the registry began in June 2003. The biggest case to date involved satellite television provider DirecTV Inc., which paid a $5.3 million settlement.

More than 167 million phone numbers have been placed on the Do Not Call registry.

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