Araceli King filed a lawsuit against the company after receiving 153 automated calls.
Robocalls are hardly ever welcome, but to receive 153 from a single company would try the patience of a saint. Time Warner Cable has now been ordered to pay damages to Araceli King for continually calling her despite her telling them to stop, writes Jonathan Stempel for Reuters.
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Attempt to stop automated calls had no effect
King, an insurance claims specialist from Irving, Texas, asked Time Warner Cable to desist from making the calls, which were actually meant for somebody else. She continued to receive messages meant for Luiz Perez, who previously held her cellphone number, despite a 7-minute phone call with a company representative in which she explained who she was.
King accused the company of harassment as a result of the continued calls, which were made by an “interactive voice response” system. The system is intended to remind customers to pay their bills.
Time Warner Cable told the court that it was not liable because it believed it was making contact with Perez, who had agreed to receive the calls. However U.S. District Judge Alvin Hellerstein awarded triple damages of $1,500 per call for willfully violating the law, and claimed that “a responsible business” would have done more to track Perez down and end the calls to King.
Time Warner Cable to pay triple damages
He also expressed his amazement at the fact that 74 of the 153 calls were made after King filed the lawsuit in March 2014. Time Warner Cable maintains that it had no idea that King objected to the calls, a claim that Judge Hellerstein called “incredible.”
“Defendant harassed plaintiff with robo-calls until she had to resort to a lawsuit to make the calls stop, and even then TWC could not be bothered to update the information in its IVR system,” wrote Hellerstein.
He called the final 74 calls “particularly egregious violations of the TCPA” which show that Time Warner Cable “simply did not take this lawsuit seriously.”
King’s lawyer Sergei Lemberg claimed that automated calls mean that companies “benefit from efficiency, but there is a cost when they make people’s lives miserable. This was one such case.”
According to Time Warner Cable spokeswoman Susan Leepson, the company is reviewing the decision.