A company that provides telecommunications services for those who have hearing or speech disabilities has agreed to pay a multi-million-dollar civil penalty to settle an investigation by the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regarding violations of the Commission’s rules applicable to these services.
According to an Order and Consent Decree issued by the Commission in early December, the company, Sorenson Communications, LLC, and its wholly-owned subsidiary CaptionCall, LLC, provided incentives such as monetary awards and free meals to hearing health professionals for referring users to its CaptionCall caption telephone service (CPS). The company was also responsible for misreporting the associated cost of these incentives and for failing to collect and retain required documents.
Under the terms of the settlement with the FCC, Sorenson agreed to pay a civil penalty of $12.5 million in connection with its illegal actions and to reimburse the FCC’s Telecommunications Relay Services (TRS) Fund an additional $28 million. The company also agreed to establish a comprehensive compliance plan to prevent future such violations.