State issues first fine against telemarketer
ST. PAUL -- Mid State Marketing of Pequot Lakes is the first telemarketer to be fined by the Minnesota Department of Commerce for making telemarketing calls without first obtaining the state's "do-not-call" list.
Mid State Marketing was fined $250 in June after admitting it had made four telemarketing calls without getting the list, which contains 1.1 million telephone numbers of Minnesotans who have asked not to receive such calls.
Commerce Department spokesman Bruce Gordon said Monday that the company, which was selling time-share space at lake resorts, cooperated with the department and agreed to comply with the law without asking for a hearing.
Under Minnesota's 6-month-old law, Mid State Marketing could have been fined up to $1,000 for each violation.
Gordon said the department has more than 100 investigations under way, most involving Minnesota companies. He said the number of complaints increased slightly last week, just before the Federal Trade Commission opened registration for a federal do-not-call list.
People may place telephone numbers on the state list by calling 1-800-921-4110 or registering on the Department of Commerce Web site at www.commerce.state.mn.us. Phone numbers on the state list will be transferred to the federal list.