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Kroger Prerecorded Telemarketing Calls TCPA Class Action

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Front of Kroger Store

The Kroger Company is large enough to have lawyers on its staff—so why does it not seem to be aware of the law called the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA)? The complaint for this class action claims that the company made calls to consumers using and automatic telephone dialing system (ATDS) and/or artificial or prerecorded voices, in violation of the TCPA.

Two classes have been proposed for this action. 

  • The ATDS Class is all persons in the US who (a) received a call on their cell phones (b) made by or on behalf of Kroger, (c) between January 15, 2015 and the date the class notice is distributed. 
  • The Artificial or Prerecorded Voice Class is all persons in the US who (a received a call on their landline or cell phone (b) made by or on behalf of Kroger, (c) between January 15, 2015 and the date the class notice is distributed.

Congress passed the TCPA to protect consumers from an avalanche of telemarketing brought about by new technology in telecommunications. ATDSs and prerecorded voices made it possible for companies to reach thousands of consumers in a single day, with very little trouble to the company but a great deal of nuisance to the consumers. Cell phone owners in particular were forced to pay for incoming telemarketing calls that they had no interest in receiving.

Most consumers hate telemarketing calls, and Congress believed that the only reliable way to give consumers their privacy was to forbid them altogether. 

At the moment, telemarketers are forbidden from placing non-emergency calls to consumer cell phones, using ATDSs or artificial or prerecorded voices, unless they have the consumers’ prior express written consent to receive such calls. 

Plaintiff Derrick Brooks claims he did not give Kroger permission to call him. Still, he claims that Kroger called him at least once, on December 7, 2018. When Brooks picked up, there was a pause, and then a prerecorded voice delivered a message, beginning, “Hello, this call is from your Kroger family of stores.” The pause before the recorded voice is a sign of an ATDS, the complaint says. 

The complaint quotes snippets from online consumer complaints about Kroger’s telemarketing, such as “Automated call from Kroger...” “When I answer, they hang up[,]” and “I got the same one from Kroger. Problem is, we don’t have a Kroger store where I live.”

In addition to monetary relief for those who received calls from Kroger, the complaint is asking for “[i]njunctive relief prohibiting such violations of the TCPA by Defendant in the future[.]”

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