Stop Calling Me! Time Warner Pays $229K for 153 Robocalls
Don't you just hate it when the cable company keeps calling you and won't let up? Well, don't just take it sitting down -- sue them!
Araceli King, of Irving, Texas, won a big victory over the Time Warner Cable Inc. last week in her lawsuit against the company over annoying and harassing robocalls.
Stop Calling or Pay Up!
For the past few years, Time Warner Cable has been calling a wrong number. Araceli King is not a customer of the company. In October 2013, she asked the company to stop calling her. The company refused to stop robodialing the hapless woman.
Finally fed up with the harassing robocalls, King filed a lawsuit under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act in March of last year. Undaunted, the company continued to call King 74 times after receiving notice of the lawsuit! In total, Time Warner robocalled King 153 times.
The Telephone Consumer Protection Act
The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) was passed by Congress in 1991 to prohibit the use of automatic dialing systems and strictly regulate calls and text messages sent to consumers.
Among its many provisions, companies must:
- Have express written consent before texting or robocalling a consumer
- Give consumers an option to opt-out of receiving calls and texts
- Only call during reasonable hours between 8 a.m. and 9 p.m.
- Stop all calls and texts when consumers tell the company to stop calling
The penalty for each call violating the act is $1,500.
In this case, U.S. District Judge Alvin Hellerstein sided with King ordering Time Warner to pay $239,500. That's triple the normal penalty.
The judge awarded the harsh judgment because he found Time Warner's actions to be particularly egregious. The company kept arguing that it should not be punished because it could not have known the calls were to a wrong number. However, the judge was not convinced that Time Warner really didn't know it was dialing the wrong number.
Hellerstein wrote that Time Warner "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." Also, King already notified the company two years ago that the calls were made to a wrong number.
If you are getting hundreds of harassing robo-calls, you have legal options.
- Judge awards nearly $230,000 to woman who got 153 robocalls (FindLaw's News)
- I Don't Heart Huckabee? Mike Huckabee's Movie Faces Lawsuit (FindLaw's U.S. Eighth Circuit)
- FCC's Robocall and Text Message Rules Get Stronger (FindLaw's Technologist)
- Car Warranty Robocalls: How to Protect Yourself (FindLaw's Common Law)