Unwanted telemarketing calls on Sprint's network is going to cost the company huge, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) said. Those "do not call" requests apparently were never followed through by the company and the calls kept coming in, much to the disappointment and frustration of users.
As per the FCC, Sprint is expected to pay $7.5 million in a settlement deal after it did not stop the telemarketers from contacting customers in the "do not call" list.
It was the largest "do not call" settlement in telecom history and the largest by the FCC, the agency said in announcing the settlement agreement.
American users can ask their carrier to remove their names and numbers from telemarketing agencies and their network must follow through. This includes non-profits; however it does not include those exempt from such marketing schemes.
Sprint has argued it has been thorough in its investigation of the unwanted calls and has invested what it said was a "significant capital" into improving oversight and acceptance of requests from users and other governmental agencies.
"We expect companies to respect the privacy of consumers who have opted out of marketing calls," Travis LeBlanc, the FCC's Enforcement Bureau acting chief, said in a statement. "When a consumer tells a company to stop calling or texting with promotional pitches, that request must be honored."
But Sprint fired back after the settlement was agreed, arguing that it has put in place all the necessary precautions and measures to ensure users are on the list and are not being called.
"This consent decree relates to issues resulting from technical and inadvertent human errors, which Sprint reported to the FCC," a Sprint spokesperson told reporters.
"The issues related only to Do Not Call Rules. We have conducted a thorough, top-to-bottom evaluation of our Do Not Call data management systems, and significant capital investments have been made to improve our Do Not Call/SMS Message architecture, oversight and compliance."
Sprint is the third largest mobile phone carrier in the country.
The United States, with the FCC being oversight agency, in 2003, created the "do not call" lists that Americans could get their names onto without being charged a fee. The move has, in the past decade, been widely seen as positive and most Americans who have joined the list have said they are happy with the decision.