A Look at the lawsuit against Telmate

On August 23, 2011, Prisons Telecommunications Company by the name Securus Technologies Inc. filed an unfair competition suit against its rival company in Texas. Securus Technologies claimed that the rival company used defamatory lies and false advertising about the company and the CEO to drive their customer’s away. Securus which is a Dallas corporation, filed suit in federal court claiming that Oregon-based Telmate LLC conducted a malicious campaign to interfere with Securus business relations. The complaint argued that Telmate breached the Lanham Act by using misleading statements about its success in an attempt to lure customers sign up for contracts.

 

Securus argued that Telmate was engaging itself in acts of unfair competition that was contrary to the law and fundamental notions of business propriety. Securus suggested that Telmate was out to defame their CEO, Rick Smith, as well as invade his privacy. Securus also claimed that Telmate was making false statements about the quality of services offered by Securus. Securus also suggested that Telmate used fake phone numbers to deceive customers into believing that Securus does not answer its phone calls. This suggested that Telmate answers their phone calls almost immediately. According to Securus, Oregon company announced a challenge to the potential customers to see which company answered its phone calls faster. Unfortunately, Oregon gave out an old and out-of-service number for Securus.

 

The suit alleged that Telmate increased their revenue by $900 thus making $2,200 every month at facilities that had previously been clients of Securus. Securus declared that it increased that revenue before Telmate took over. The suit also alleged that Telmate lied in exaggeration about its success where it claimed that it had been offering inmate communication services since the year 1988. This was not the case since it had only been providing those services since 2005.

 

The suit stated that Telmate said it won a contract with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security when this was not the case. According to the suit, the contract was given to a separate company that in turn subcontracted some of its work to Telmate. Securus is applying for a jury trial as well as an injunction against Telmate to keep it from the alleged unlawful advertising practices and actual statutory damages.