Repeatedly robo-calling the wrong person can come at a cost. That’s the hard lesson Time Warner Cable recently learned after an Irving, Texas, woman sued the company under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) and was awarded $229,500.
In an ARONOVITZ Law Blog post published last month, consumer class action attorney Tod Aronovitz explained that this 24-year-old law was put into place to provide protection against bothersome telemarketing phone calls, to empower consumers to take action against illegal telemarketing practices, and to recover damages.
According to a July 8 story in the Wall Street Journal, “Woman Robocalled by Time Warner Wins $230,000 Judgment,” Time Warner Cable bill collectors continually called the plaintiff Araceli King about late payments, erroneously under the impression that they were calling a man named “Luiz.” Even after Ms. King notified Time Warner about the mistaken identity, the company would not stop calling her—more than 150 times over a 10-month period—the WSJ article reported.
Mr. Aronovitz said there are three key provisions of the TCPA:
U.S. District Judge Alvin Hellerstein in Manhattan calculated the judgment by multiplying the number of phone calls received after Ms. King had the conversation with Time Warner, 153, by $1,500. In his opinion to the court, he admonished the company for its actions:
“If a business wishes to contract around that rule with its customers, it may, but the risk of error falls on the caller, so it should take care to ensure that it is calling the right people with information they actually want to receive… Whether the agent’s call were answered by Ms. King or her voicemail, the agent would quickly realize the mistake and fix the company’s records so that the machine would not contact her anymore. The responsible company will reduce its exposure dramatically by taking proactive steps to mitigate damages, while its competitor, who unthinkingly robo-dials the same person hundreds of time over many months without pausing to wonder why it cannot reach him, cannot complain about much higher liability.”
According to the case, Time Warner Cable thought Ms. King was “Luiz” because Luiz was an actual customer who opened an account using a cell phone number later assigned to Ms. King. The company disputed the number of calls that should be counted as violations—since in more than half, the company claimed, no recorded message was left. Time Warner is now reviewing its legal options.
If you or someone you know has been affected by unlawful telemarketing practices either to a landline or mobile phone, you may be able to seek compensation for damages related to TCPA violations. Contact us today at (305) 372-2772 for a free consultation and more information about filing a complaint.
ARONOVITZ LAW: Miami Class Action Lawyers
The Miami class action law firm of ARONOVITZ LAW pursues justice for citizens across Florida who have been injured by the wrongful actions or omissions of another individual, government agency, or corporation. In addition to Florida consumer class action litigation, we can assist you with civil litigation including whistleblower cases, medical malpractice, product liability, and wrongful death cases.
Contact Miami consumer class action attorney Tod Aronovitz at 305-372-2772 for a confidential discussion of your case.