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HOME > American Idol > American Idol 2

'American Idol' sues toll-call imposters

By Wade Paulsen, 02/15/2003 

E! Online reports that the producers of American Idol have sued a telemarketing firm that tries to misdirect the show's viewers into making a toll call to support their favorites.

The American Idol phone lines use the toll-free 866 prefix. According to the article, a telemarketing firm acquired the same phone number as Idol, but with the more common toll-free 800 prefix. People who mistakenly called the 800 number were instructed to phone a toll 900 number to place their votes, at a cost of $1.99 per call. The scam has generated enough complaints to Fox that, on this week's shows, Idol host Ryan Seacrest warned viewers to "be alert" if asked to call a 900 number.

The Idol producers have asked for the deceptive phone line to be dismantled. Perhaps the telemarketing firm could use the number for something more productive -- such as logging complaints about Idol's decision to disqualify Frenchie Davis....


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