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  The FCC Enforcement Bureau's Telecommunications Consumers Division (TCD) today announced that it has issued citations to several companies which have allegedly violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991 (TCPA) and the Commission's rules implementing that Act. The Division's actions were based upon consumer letters alleging that the cited companies had sent unsolicited advertisements to the consumers' telephone facsimile machines. The citations place each company on notice that repeat violations may result in monetary forfeitures of up to $11,000 per violation.

  In the citation letters, the alleged violators are informed that they have 21 days to respond to the allegations, either by attending a personal interview at a Commission Field Office, or by submitting a written statement to the Commission. In their response, the violators must specify what actions have been taken to ensure future compliance with the TCPA and applicable Commission rules. The following companies received citations on December 3, 1999: Travel Express International, Inc., Norcross, Georgia; F. Franke & Company, Inc., Rockford, Illinois; Metabolife International, Inc., San Diego, California; Factory Direct Copiers, Chatsworth, California; Guides, Inc., Altamonte Springs, Florida; and, Worldwide Web Institute, Inc., Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. On December 6, 1999, the TCD issued a citation to C.S.J. Consulting, Inc., Orlando, Florida and to Capitol Resorts, Longwood, Florida. Further, in response to consumer letters received by the state regulatory commissions, several states have brought lawsuits in federal court against alleged violators of the TCPA, including Arkansas, which recently filed a complaint against Travel Express International, one of the companies cited and identified above.

  Currently, the sending of unsolicited advertisements to facsimile machines is the number one TCPA-related consumer complaint received by the Commission, which has handled nearly a thousand such consumer complaints against various companies nationwide this year. The Commission's Enforcement Bureau will continue to issue citations to companies that have allegedly violated the TCPA or the Commission's telemarketing rules.

  Action by the Enforcement Bureau, Telecommunications Consumers Division, by citation.

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