"As Callers, ‘Idol’ Fans Often Lack Real Talent" By Edward Wyatt Published: April 12, 2008
In 2004 the Federal Trade Commission ordered a group of Utah telemarketers to pay $40,000 in restitution to “American Idol” viewers who had been charged for their mis-dials. The commission said that Telemarketing Inc., of Orem, Utah, bought up the rights to toll-free numbers that were similar to the Idol numbers in the hope that viewers would mis-dial.
When they did, a recording instructed callers to dial a 900 number to cast a vote. When they dialed that number, the callers would be charged for the call and then given the correct number to dial to vote for “Idol” contestants, which the commission ruled was a deceptive practice.