BASKING RIDGE, N.J. — Verizon Wireless said today it has settled a lawsuit filed last month against Feature Films for Families, a Utah-based telemarketing company, for illegally calling Verizon Wireless customers and employees to advertise the movie, "The Velveteen Rabbit." In addition to a permanent injunction preventing any future calls, the Utah-based telemarketer has agreed to a $25,000 cash settlement, which Verizon Wireless is donating to the National Domestic Violence Hotline (NDVH).
"Our customers' privacy is of utmost importance to Verizon Wireless, and we work every day to ensure it is protected. Telemarketers cannot be allowed to use unlawful methods to reach our customers and to invade their privacy," said Steven E. Zipperstein, vice president and general counsel of Verizon Wireless. "We're pleased with the swift resolution of this lawsuit, and glad to provide the NDVH with needed funds to continue their work helping domestic violence victims."
"At a time when calls to the NDVH are at an all-time high, we are especially grateful for this gift," said NDVH Chief Executive Officer Sheryl Cates. "Verizon Wireless has been a valued partner in our efforts to end domestic violence."
Verizon Wireless has worked for many years with the NDVH, which is based in Austin, Texas. By dialing #HOPE from any Verizon Wireless phone, victims of domestic violence are able to access professional support quickly and confidentially. The toll- and airtime-free call is routed to the Hotline, where people can get information about local resources or help dealing with domestic violence situations. The Hotline can also be reached toll-free at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233).
The lawsuit alleged Feature Films for Families illegally used an autodialer to call Verizon Wireless customers about the movie. The lawsuit stated that over 10 days in early February, nearly 500,000 calls were made to Verizon Wireless customers and employees from the telephone number 917-210-4609. When customers answered these calls to their wireless phones they heard either a prerecorded voice message or an individual reading a script promoting the anticipated release of the film.
Verizon Wireless' record of protecting customer privacy puts the company at the forefront of the U.S. wireless industry. Over the past several years, Verizon Wireless has won permanent injunctions against individuals and companies that have engaged in illegal telemarketing and text message spamming to Verizon Wireless customers, and against those who have attempted to obtain information about Verizon Wireless customers to sell to third parties. On behalf of its customers, Verizon Wireless has donated tens of thousands of dollars to many domestic violence prevention, law enforcement and other non-profit organizations as a result of these settlements.
About Verizon Wireless
Verizon Wireless operates the nation's most reliable and largest wireless voice and data network, serving more than 80 million customers. Headquartered in Basking Ridge, N.J., with more than 85,000 employees nationwide, Verizon Wireless is a joint venture of Verizon Communications (NYSE: VZ) and Vodafone (NYSE and LSE: VOD). For more information, visit 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.
About National Domestic Violence Hotline
The National Domestic Violence Hotline (NDVH), headquartered in Austin, Texas, is a confidential 24/7 Hotline, established by Congress and funded by the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). The confidential service provides crisis intervention, information and referral to victims of domestic violence, perpetrators, friends and families. Additional information may be obtained at www.ndvh.org or by calling 1-800-799-7233.