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The General Auto Insurance and Spanish Quotes Robo-Calls TCPA Class Action

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This complaint brings suit against The General Automobile Insurance Services, Inc. and Spanish Quotes, Inc. for violations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). The complaint claims that The General hired Spanish Quotes to make unlawful telemarketing calls to consumers.

Insurance companies appear to be frequent violators of the TCPA. The TCPA makes it unlawful for telemarketers to place calls to consumer cells phones using automatic dialing systems or artificial or prerecorded voices unless it has gotten the consumers’ prior express written consent to receive such telemarketing. 

The term “calls” does not mean only voice calls; it includes voicemails and text messages as well, as cell phone owners must pay for all of these contacts.

Plaintiff Dan L. Boger does not like telemarketing calls. To avoid them, he put his cell phone number on the National Do Not Call Registry over a year ago. Telemarketers are supposed to scrub their lists of numbers before they direct calls at them. 

Nevertheless, on July 21, 2019, Boger received a telemarketing call from Spanish quotes. The complaint claims that the call was made using an automatic dialing system, because when Boger picked up, he heard a “click and pause” that the complaint says “is associated with a predictive dialing system.” That pause, the complaint says, “signifies the algorithm of the predictive dialer operating. The predictive dialer dials thousands of numbers at once, and only transfers the call to a live agent once a human being is on the line.”

Oddly, the person who came on the line said he was calling from “US Auto Care,” which the complaint says is not a registered business name. Boger tried to find out where he was calling from, and he was then transferred to another person to finish the call. That person gave him a number for The General’s corporate office. 

Although Spanish Quotes supposedly made the call, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is quoted in the complaint as explaining that “the party on whose behalf a solicitation is made bears ultimate responsibility for any violations.”

The complaint proposes two classes and a subclass. 

  • The Spanish Quotes Call Class is all persons in the US to whose cell phones Spanish Quotes or a third party acting on its behalf made one or more nonemergency calls, using an automatic dialing system or an artificial or prerecorded voice, at any time between September 5, 2015 and the trial of this case. 
  • The General Transfer Subclass includes people from the above class who were then transferred to The General.
  • The General Call Class is similar to the Spanish Quotes Call Class, except that the name of The General is substituted for the name Spanish Quotes.
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