Consent Farms: A Threat To The Telemarketing Industry

In a recent lawsuit filed against New York-based Fluent, LLC, it was accused of operating a massive “consent farm”. If you have never heard of this term, it usually refers to an entity that collects people’s personal information—along with a consent form—to then sell it to telemarketers.

In past blog posts, we have discussed the dangerous inherent in buying from third-party vendors, and this is a prime example of why. Here, Fluent, LLC is accused of using deceptive tactics to obtain consumers’ consent. If true, this not only violates federal laws, but it also tarnishes the telemarketing industry’s already-mixed reputation. 

The Impact of a Consent Farm 

At its core, consent farmers collect personal information from consumers and then sell that information to telemarketers, who may be under the impression that they are purchasing legitimate leads. 

The problem lies in how the information is initially gathered. In this case, the companies involved allegedly deceived consumers into consenting by promising gifts or job placement services that they never really intended to provide. 

Fluent was also accused of associating themselves with established brands such as Walmart and Amazon and offering gifts from these brands. In the course of doing so it operated under several other names, some of which you may have seen before:

  • JobsOnDemand
  • FindDreamJobs
  • National Consumer Center

Many of the consent farmers allegedly contacted consumers who had legally opted out of calls by being placed on the Do-Not-Call Registry. If true, this inevitably damages the reputation of the telemarketing industry, but it also subjects the marketers who buy those leads to the very real threat of formal action.

Imagine the person who is on the DNC list and still receives marketing calls. Understandably, they will direct their blame toward the telemarketing company that contacted them, and in this way, consent farms inevitably make it harder for established telemarketing companies to reach consumers genuinely interested in their product or service. 

Tips for Telemarketers

For more information about the dangers of fraudulent leads, read the blog we published about them. With that in mind, source your leads wisely. When it comes to purchasing leads, understand who you are buying from.

In our blog, we also discussed the dangers of vicarious liability, and why purchasing and using fraudulent leads puts telemarketing companies in legal peril too.

Protecting the Telemarketing Industry

Attorneys and telemarketing companies can and should work together to combat the practices that consent farms employ. Clearly, consumers have every right to safeguard their personal information, but there is still plenty of room for telemarketing companies to run successful, yet totally compliant businesses as well.

For over 25 years, Cove Law has defended legitimate businesses from frivolous lawsuits. Through our collective efforts, we can help protect the telemarketing industry and ensure they have the room to make meaningful connections with potential consumers who are interested in the products and services they sell. Contact our office today to schedule your free consultation.

Andrew Cove