We can all agree that robocalls are pretty bad. Although there may be no way to get rid of them completely (although the organizations are working), one of the most common aspects of this intervention is being pushed to court.
CBS news Reports of Attorneys General from 48 states (including DC) are coming together to file a bipartisan lawsuit against Arizona-based Avid Telecom, owner Michael D. Lansky and vice president Stacey S. Reeves. The 141-page suit claims the company made more than 7.5 billion calls to people on the National Do Not Call Registry. Arizona Attorney General Kris Meyes says about 197 million calls were made to phone numbers in his state in the five years between December 2018 and January 2023.
The lawsuit alleges that Avid Telecom compromised phone numbers, including 8.4 million that appeared to be from the government or law enforcement agencies, and others disguised as from Amazon, DirecTV and many others. The lawsuit alleges that Avid Telecom violated the Telemarketing Sales Rule and several other marketing and consumer laws.
The AGs are asking the court to order Avid Telecom not to make illegal robocalls, and to pay damages and restitution to the people who made the illegal calls. They’re also pursuing a number of legal mechanisms to make Avid cough up money for each breach, which given the number of calls they’ve made, could quickly add up. Sumco Panama, which manages less than 5 billion robocalls, was fined nearly $300 million by the FCC late last year.
Earlier this month, it was reported that XCast Labs was being sued by the US Federal Trade Commission for helping other companies call those on the National Do Not Call Registry.
In 2017, Dish reached a settlement that cost them $210 million. The company reportedly made millions of calls in an attempt to sell and promote its satellite TV services. Dish eventually had to pay $126 million in fines to the US government, and $84 million to residents of California, Illinois, North Carolina and Ohio. Hopefully, we will see similar results with Avid Telecom.