Time Warner Cable Inc. was ordered on Tuesday to pay nearly $230,000 in a robocalls lawsuit with a Texas woman who claimed that the company harassed her with 153 wrong number calls despite her complaints.
Araceli King of Irving, Texas, sued last year after receiving a myriad of unwanted robocalls between July 2013 and August 2014 that were intended for Luiz Perez, who had opened up a TWC account with King’s phone number, which had previously been his own, according to The Washington Post.
Seventy-four of those 153 robocalls occurred after King sued TWC in March 2014, according to Reuters,
and those calls were made through an “interactive voice response” system intended for clients who were late on paying their bills.
U.S. District Judge Alvin Hellerstein ruled that each call violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991, and he tripled the penalty to $1,500 for each robocall, stating that TWC’s actions were “particularly egregious” because King had called the company to complain in a seven-minute phone conversation that brought forth no changes on TWC’s part, according to The Associated Press.
“A responsible business in TWC’s position might have dispatched a live agent to reach out to Luiz Perez after the IVR (interactive voice response) failed to reach him the first several times,” Hellerstein wrote, according to The Washington Post. “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.”
Despite TWC’s arguments that it was unaware of King’s request to be put on the “do not call” list, Hellerstein wrote that “there is no doubt King made the revocation” and the company needed to be penalized because it “could not be bothered” to update King’s information, according to The Washington Post.
“Millions of U.S. consumers get robocalls. Only a few of them take it a step forward and get a lawyer,” said King’s lawyer, Sergei Lemberg, according to the AP.
Susan Leepson, a spokeswoman for TWC, said that the company is currently reviewing all available options before it will determine how to proceed, according to the AP.
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