Congress passed the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) to try to stop the rising tide of automated telemarketing. Unfortunately, it has only grown. The complaint for this class action alleges that HealthCompare Insurance Services, Inc. placed illegal telemarketing calls to consumer cell phones, in violation of the TCPA.
The class for this action is all persons in the US
What makes cell phones special and a necessary part of this complaint? Cell phone owners typically pay for incoming as well as outgoing calls, which makes telemarketing not just an annoyance but an expense as well.
Under the TCPA, it is unlawful “to make any call (other than a call made for emergency purposes or made with the prior express consent of the called party) using an automatic telephone dialing system or an artificial or prerecorded voice … to any telephone number assigned to a cellular telephone service.”
The “prior express consent” required was later extended to become “prior express written consent.” The rules and regulations for the law spell out in more detail what this consent must consist of and how it may be obtained.
In this case, plaintiff Sidney Naiman received two telemarketing calls on his cell phone from HealthCompare. HealthCompare provides health insurance for individuals and families.
On June 6, 2019, Naiman received a call on his cell phone. When he picked up, there was a click and a pause; he said “hello” several times without receiving an answer. The complaint alleges that this is a sign of an automatic dialing system. At last an individual came on the line. Later that individual wrote Naiman a confirming e-mail that identified him as working for HealthCompare and offering to sell Naiman a Medicare insurance supplement.
On June 18, 2019, Naiman received a similar call. There was a click and a pause, and he said “hello” several times before an individual came on the line. When an individual came on the line, he said he worked for HealthCompare. Again, Naiman received an e-mail from him afterwards, confirming that he worked for HealthCompare.
The calls both came from a number that the website Nomorobo identified as a robocaller. Nomorobo was awarded the Federal Trade Commission’s Robocall Challenge Technology Achievement Award for its website and app lookup identifying certain numbers as robocallers.
The complaint alleges violations of the TCPA, including knowing violations.