You’d think that State Farm Fire and Casualty Company would have more sophisticated means of advertising than illegal robocalls to consumers. But the complaint for this class action alleges that the company made mass telemarketing calls to numbers on the Do Not Call list, violating the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA).
Two classes have been proposed for this action.
Congress passed the TCPA in 1991 to protect consumer from the barrage of telemarketing calls facilitated by new telecommunications technology. Automatic dialing systems and prerecorded messages had made it possible for companies to send out thousands of calls with very little effort or expense to themselves but a great deal of nuisance to consumers.
Among other things, the TCPA forbids prerecorded calls to residential and wireless numbers unless the caller first obtains the recipients’ prior express written consent.
The TCPA also established a National Do Not Call (DNC) Registry where consumers could list their telephone numbers to be excluded from telemarketing. Telemarketers are forbidden from making robocalls to these numbers. Under the law, any “person who has received more than one telephone call within any 12-month period by or on behalf of the same entity in violation of the regulations prescribed under this subsection” may sue the caller for damages.
This requires that companies that want to use telemarketing to compare their telemarketing lists with the DNC list before calling. Unfortunately, some companies do not bother to do this.
Plaintiff Patricia Settle’s cell phone has been on the DNC list since October 2014. Even so, in the spring of 2017, she began getting calls on it offering her insurance products. Settle has insurance and is not looking for insurance, the complaint says, and she never gave her prior express written consent to receive solicitation calls about insurance.
Still, the complaint claims, she received such calls “dozens of times” over a period of twelve months, and the calls always used an artificial or prerecorded voice, in violation of the TCPA.