FCC Declaratory Ruling: Huge Break in Holding Monitoring Companies Liable

And so, the long awaited FCC Declaratory ruling is released and the message is clear; sellers like big monitoring companies can be held “vicariously liable” for unlawful telemarketing calls made by third parties on their behalf. Read the details of the ruling here: http://www.tcpatools.com/FCC-obo.pdf

Will this be the push needed to end these calls once and for all?

From the ruling:


  1. For the reasons discussed herein, we grant in part and otherwise deny the above-captioned petitions for declaratory ruling.  We clarify that, while a seller does not generally initiate calls made through a third-party telemarketer, it nonetheless may be vicariously liable under federal common law agency-related principles for violations of either section 227(b) or 227(c) committed by telemarketers that initiate calls to market its products or services.



  1. Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED that, pursuant to sections 1-4, 227, and 303(r) of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, 47 U.S.C. §§ 151-154, 227, 303(r), and section 64.1200 of the Commission’s rules, 47 C.F.R. § 64.1200, this Declaratory Ruling in CG Docket No. 11-50 IS ADOPTED as set forth herein.

CHANGE -**NEWS ALERT**- NBC News will air a report this week about “Tom”!

A report on unlawful telemarketing and the inability of the FTC to stop these calls will air this (UPDATE:) Friday, April 27th at about 7:40 AM (CST I think) on NBC News’  TODAY show. A source close to the investigation tells me that Jeff Rossen, National Investigative Correspondent for NBC News TODAY will present the story of how these calls have continued unabated, even in the face of direct requests by consumers, sanctions by state regulators, and class action lawsuits by plaintiffs. A high profile dealer for Monitronics, who was recently awarded an “F” rating to replace their lost accreditation with the Better Business Bureau,  will be featured in the piece.

This report will likely be viewed by millions of Americans who just like us have been getting these calls with no ability to make them stop. Share this news with those you know, and ask them to participate by sharing details about their experience here on this web site. It’s very, very helpful to know the name of the dealer involved with the calls, as well as the numbers that can be directly linked to them. The state regulators responsible for policing Alarm Systems Companies, sale persons, and installers are becoming more aware of this conduct and have given me the indication that with supporting details they will take action. In my state of Texas, violations of the alarm statute can bring criminal penalties to include a Class A misdemeanor with up to 1 (one) year in jail and a $10,000 fine per violation.

Thanks for your help and together we really will STOP TOM!

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(Photo credit: NBC News)

253-246-8514 Calling John in Michigan

John in Michigan has been pounded by calls, ”  I get at least 10 or 20 spam calls or texts for every real call I get.”  So today he sent me  this picture of his cell phone screen. We recognize the numbers as those of the usual suspects. I bet there are hundreds of thousands of Americans in exactly our situation. Had a conversation with anyone from these numbers? Let me know!

He’s not the only one:

UPDATE:This post is a follow up to the original.

Without Wall Street Cash would “Tom” (survive) Exist?

Where does the cash come from to pay for “Tom”? Well, we know that most contracts generated by dealers, such as VMS Alarms and Maximum Security Alarm, are purchased by a monitoring company. These two dealers sell their contracts to Monitronics, which is wholly owned by Ascent Capital Group (ASCMA). Ascent acquired Monitronics in December 2010, spinning off their other media related businesses to focus on the (recently) cash flow negative Monitronics. Read more of this post

Update: Stop Tom has been busy!

Like most readers, I have primary responsibilities which include running a business and raising a family that are way more important than investigating the home security alarm industry. But I have put hundreds and hundreds of hours of work into exposing these folks for the shameless bad actors I believe them to be and it was time for someone to take a stand. I felt all along that sooner or later, those who were wronged by the owners and executives of these alarm dealers and affiliates, would provide a tip or lead that would be gold. They have in spades. Read more of this post

A year of calls; and yet we’re making progress

To all the readers, especially those who have posted details in the comments, or emailed a tip or lead, Thank You!

Mostly at this point I’m looking for corroboration of what I’ve already learned. I’ve mostly uncovered the identities of the people and companies behind this operation. Now I’m seeking to bolster my soon to be launched counter-offensive, and  I’ll need as much supporting material as possible.

We’re are making progress. I’ve spoken in detail with the Regulators in four states (TX, CA, UT, and FL), confirming the unlawful conduct of these operators. The loss of their operating permit in just a few key states will cripple their ability to fund these telemarketers. Remember that in the big states operating an Alarm Company without a permit is generally a crime of the felony nature.

And to those who think it will just stop. I’ve been getting calls for over a year now, and yet last night:

A call last evening at 8:11 pm CST, 503-457-1010. I answered to hear clicks, and waiting, waiting, clicks, maybe an operator will pick up, waiting, and after almost a full minute I hung up.I suspect it’s sniffing for valid numbers or they just didn’t have a rep available to take the call.

I called back and got the standard, “Thank you for calling back, please press 1 to be removed from our calling list”. Tom or his cousin.

They won’t stop until we make them.  Share your experience. Send the details of your interactions to me at the helpstoptom@gmail.com address, or post on Facebook.

Jim B.
Houston, TX
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