On March 3, 2014 the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), State of Colorado, State of Florida, State of Indiana, State of Kansas, State of Mississippi, State of Missouri, State of North Carolina, State of Ohio, State of Tennessee, and State of Washington, Plaintiffs, file a federal lawsuit in Florida against Caribbean Cruise Line, Inc., a Florida corporation and ("Cruise Call Telemarketers") Linked Service Solutions, LLC, a Florida limited liability company, Economic Strategy LLC, a Florida limited liability company, Pacific Telecom Communications Group, a Nevada corporation, International Telephone Corporation, a foreign corporation, International Telephone, LLC, a Wyoming limited liability company, Telephone Management Corporation, an Oregon corporation, T M Caller ID, LLC, an Oregon limited liability company, Scott Broomfield, Jason Birkett, Jacob deJongh, Fred Accuardi, and Steve Hamilton, Defendants.
The complaint states that between October 2011 and July 2012 "Cruise Call Telemarketers" bombarded American consumers with billions of robocalls, an average of 12-15 million calls per day.
The calling list included more than one hundred million phone numbers. The Cruise Call Telemarketers did not scrub the list against the National Do Not Call Registry. 'The telemarketers blasted the robocalls with approximately 100 different Caller ID phone numbers.
Over a period of only ten months, CCL paid deJongh, Birkett and Broomfield between $1,000,000 to $2,000,000 for the inbound transfer leads.
The FTC is suing under the Telemarketing Act, 15 U.S.C. §§ 6101- 6108. Pursuant to the Telemarketing Act, the Commission promulgated and enforces the TSR, 16 C.F.R. Part 310, which prohibits deceptive and abusive telemarketing acts or practices.
The complaint accuses "Cruise Call Telemarketers" , of saying, " Hello, this is John from Political Opinions of America. You’ve been carefully selected to participate in a short 30 second research survey and for participating you’ll receive a free two day cruise for two people to the Bahamas, courtesy of one of our supporters. Gratuities and a small port tax will apply. To begin the survey, please press 1 now. To decline the survey and be removed from our list, press 9. Thank you."
The Cruise Call Telemarketers’ prerecorded call then asked consumers several automated political survey questions. After completing the survey questions, consumers heard a recording stating that they were entitled to "a free cruise to the Bahamas" as a reward for taking the survey. Consumers were then instructed to press 1 if they were interested in receiving the "free" cruise.
Consumers who pressed 1 were then transferred to a live telemarketer working on behalf of CCL to market cruises. The telemarketer would inform consumers that the "free" cruise would cost $59 per person in port taxes and attempt to sell them pre-boarding hotels, cruise excursions, enhanced accommodations, and other travel packages.
The cruise offered "free" three-day/two-night cruise to the Bahamas provided by CCL.
Full FTC v Caribbean Cruise Line
Supporting Information & Resources: Related Cruise Bruise Investigations
Featured or New CBI Crime