A Phone Call Worth Answering
November 27th, 2017 by Bunch & Brock
Those annoying automated phone calls that always seems to ring as the food is placed on the dinner table may finally be worth the trouble. According to an article in August run by the Miami Herald, a class-action lawsuit against the marketing firm responsible for those calls has been settled, resulting in a cash settlement for each call.
The calls, from Resort Marketing Group, which represents Carnival, Norwegian and Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, who are also named as defendants in the suit, violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) from July 2009 to March 2014. The TCPA, put in place in 1991, states that, essentially, it is illegal for a company to use automated calls to individuals without prior authorization. Resort Marketing Group is accused of doing exactly that, using a marketing database to automatically call numbers with pre-recorded or automated messages offering cruise deals for the three companies.
Philip Charvat of Huntington, New York, filed the class-action lawsuit in 2012, according to Newsday. The company opted to settle instead of go to court. In July 2017, U.S. District Judge Andrea R. Wood agreed to a settlement of between $7 million and $12.5 million, depending on the number of individuals that have been affected and join the suit.
Recipients of the robocalls are eligible for up to $300 for each call, limited to three calls, or $900. The settlement also created a database to find claimants who are eligible. To see whether your number is in the database and you are eligible to join the suit, check the database here. If your number is in Resort Marketing’s database, you may continue on the site and file to become a part of the suit either online or by mail to join the suit. The deadline to join is Nov. 3 of this year.
Among other statutes, TCPA includes not only the automated or pre-recorded calls without consent, but also the national registry for phone customers who wish to not receive telemarketing calls. Among the penalties that may be imposed for breaking the provisions of the TCPA are statutory fines of between $500 and $1,500 per call for those who knowingly disregard the statutes.
Telemarketers make up a significant portion of the labor force. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, as reported by The Houston Chronicle, there are currently more than 8,800 telemarketing companies that employ roughly 511,000 people marketing to every state and territory in the U.S. The Federal Trade Commission estimates that several hundred companies, at the least, exist only to perpetrate fraudulent schemes.
Practicing for more than 35 years out of offices in Lexington, Ky., the attorneys at Bunch & Brock, Attorneys at Law, have the experience, knowledge and resources to help with all your legal needs. If you have legal questions or would like to set up an appointment, contact us online or call us today at 859.254.5522