Washington Post: Time Warner Cable Robocall Case

153 Unwanted Robocalls Cost Time Warner Cable $1,500 Each. Do the Math.

By Will Greenberg, July 8, 2015

Between July of 2013 and August 2014 Araceli King, of Irving, Tex., received numerous automated calls from New York based Time Warner Cable intended for “Luiz Perez,” who had opened a TWC account using King’s same phone number.

She called the company to complain, but the calls just kept coming.

She sued the company, and, yes, the calls kept coming, according to court records.

Now, a federal judge in New York has ordered the nation’s least popular cable company to pay King $1,500 per call, for a grand total of $229,500.

Judge Alvin Hellerstein, of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, ruled Tuesday that each call was a violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991 and awarded triple the usual penalty.

While Time Warner argued that they were unaware King ever asked to be on the company’s “do not call list,” Hellerstein determined “there is no doubt King made this revocation.” He wrote that the company “could not be bothered” to update King’s information, even after she filed suit against TWC in March of 2014.

“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. “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 times over many months without pausing to wonder why it cannot reach him, cannot complain about much higher liability.”

King’s lawyer, Sergei Lemberg, said Tuesday that King is happy her fight against robocalls paid off, adding that they “make people’s lives miserable.”

“Millions of U.S. consumers get robocalls. Only a few of them take it a step forward and get a lawyer,” Lemberg told Mercury News.

Time Warner said it’s reviewing the decision.

Original story: At the Washington Post

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