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Sprint to pay $7.5 million after annoying people with marketing calls and texts

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Sprint just got hit with a fairly expensive and embarrassing slap on the wrist. The US carrier has agreed to pay $7.5 million to resolve an FCC investigation into whether it ignored do-not-call rules and pestered consumers with unwanted marketing calls and text messages. The FCC says this is the single largest do-not-call settlement it's ever reached to this point. In addition to the financial penalty, Sprint will be required to put together a "robust" compliance plan to ensure that it doesn't again violate consumer privacy and annoy people with telemarketing even after they've expressly asked the company to stop calling. That includes providing employees with better training when it comes to DNC policies.

An initial compliance report must be filed with 90 days, with annual follow-ups for the next two years. Unfortunately this isn't Sprint's first brush with privacy complaints. In 2011, the company handed $400,000 over to the FCC over similar accusations that it was ignoring requests to halt marketing calls. Back then, Sprint blamed the mishap on an equipment malfunction that caused one of its servers to "stop processing requests from consumers who did not wish to be contacted by Sprint."