BEDMINSTER, NJ — Verizon Wireless, owner and operator of the nation's most reliable wireless network, once again is standing up for the privacy rights of its customers with two new lawsuits that charge telemarketing companies with illegal solicitation of wireless phone customers. Both lawsuits were filed today in state Superior Court in Somerville, N.J. and claim the companies' actions violate the Federal Telephone Consumer Protection Act as well as state fraud and privacy laws.
In the first lawsuit, believed to be the first of its kind involving Spanish-language messages, Verizon Wireless is seeking an injunction against All Star Vacations and Marketing Group, Inc. of Miami, Fla. and Travel and Tours Marketing, Inc. of Orlando, Fla. During November and December 2005 alone, more than 500,000 calls apparently using auto-dialers and pre-recorded messages in Spanish were made to Verizon Wireless customers on behalf of these companies. The pre-recorded messages in Spanish indicated the customer had won a trip to one of several resort locations and directed the customer to call a toll-free number to claim their prize.
In the second lawsuit, Verizon Wireless is seeking an injunction against Cambridge Marketing and Financial Services, Inc. of Deland, Fla., which apparently made thousands of calls to cell phone customers using auto-dialers and pre-recorded messages. Unsuspecting customers and employees received multiple calls on their wireless phones in which a pre-recorded voice left a message that indicated the customer had won a Ford Explorer and directed them to call a toll-free number to claim their prize.
Steven Zipperstein, vice president and general counsel of Verizon Wireless, said, "These unlawful telemarketing calls invade the privacy of Verizon Wireless' customers, and whether in English or Spanish, we will not tolerate actions from any company that put our customers' privacy in jeopardy."
In addition to seeking injunctions against All Star Vacations, Travel and Tours Marketing, and Cambridge Marketing and Financial Services to prohibit the continued use of the illegal telemarketing practices, Verizon Wireless is also asking the court to award monetary damages.
The company's record of protecting customer privacy puts Verizon Wireless at the forefront of the U.S. wireless industry. Over the past several months, Verizon Wireless has won permanent injunctions against other companies that have engaged in illegal telemarketing to Verizon Wireless customers, spammed Verizon Wireless customers with unsolicited text messages and that have attempted to obtain information about Verizon Wireless customers to sell to third parties.
About Verizon WirelessVerizon Wireless owns and operates the nation's most reliable wireless network, serving 51.3 million voice and data customers. Headquartered in Bedminster, NJ, Verizon Wireless is a joint venture of Verizon Communications (NYSE: VZ) and Vodafone (NYSE and LSE: VOD). Find more information on the Web at www.verizonwireless.com. To preview and request broadcast-quality video footage and high-resolution stills of Verizon Wireless operations, log on to the Verizon Wireless Multimedia Library at www.verizonwireless.com/multimedia.####