Telemarketing calls are a nuisance, but they are particularly irritating when the callers pretend to be someone they aren’t. The complaint for this class action claims that Santanna Natural Gas Corporation, doing business as Santanna Energy Services, not only made illegal telemarketing calls to consumers but hid its identity.
Two classes have been proposed for this action.
The class period is March 30, 2014 through the trial of this case.
The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) set up a National Do Not Call Registry so that consumers could avoid unwanted telemarketing calls. It also specified that companies could not make calls to consumer cell phones using automated dialing systems or artificial or pre-recorded voices unless they received the consumer’s prior express written consent. According to the complaint, Santanna did not get consent from either of the plaintiffs in this case.
Plaintiff Philip Charvat’s telephone number has been on the National Do Not Call Registry for some years. However, he claims that on January 17, 2018, he received a pre-recorded call that stated that “your utility company” had said that he could save money on his energy bill.
To find out who had made the call, the complaint says, Charvat listened to the recording and sales pitch. The party whose services were being advertised was Santanna. The representative claimed to be from “the Energy Company” but no other company’s services were promoted on the call.
Plaintiff Andrew Perrong claims that, on March 22, 2018, he received a call for which the caller ID display had been manipulated to show that it was from his energy company, NRG. He claims that the call was made with an automated dialing system, because when he first picked up, no one was on the line; he heard a noise, indicating that the call had been made by a machine or computer, and only then did a live person come on the line.
Perrong listened to the sales pitch, he says, and determined that the purpose of the call was to advertise the services of Santanna.
The complaint quotes the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) as saying that “the party on whose behalf a solicitation is made bears responsibility for any violations” which would mean that Santanna is responsible for both calls.