Public Service Enterprise Group Incorporated—PSEG—faces a proposed class action filed by a New Jersey consumer who alleges the utilities company placed at least six unsolicited, automated calls to her cell phone over the last year without consent.
The 16-page lawsuit alleges PSEG has engaged in unsolicited telemarketing “with no regard to consumers’ privacy rights” in order to “gain an advantage over its competitors and increase its revenue.” According to the complaint, the publicly traded company has violated the federal Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) by using an automated dialing system and/or prerecorded voice to contact consumers’ cell phones without consent to do so.
The plaintiff says that though she did not answer the phone on one occasion in which PSEG called, the company left a voicemail of a prerecorded message with regard to potential discounts on the woman’s electric bill. Such calls, in which a company advertises its goods or services or offers discounts, are considered telemarketing calls under the TCPA in that they encourage future purchase or investment in a business’s particular area, the lawsuit says.
According to the suit, the plaintiff did not at any point provide PSEG with express consent to contact her by way of a prerecorded call. The woman affirmatively told PSEG to stop calling, the case says, noting that the plaintiff’s number has been registered with the national Do Not Call list since 2011.
The case argues PSEG’s apparent robocalls caused the plaintiff actual harm in that the woman “wasted” an estimated two to three minutes reviewing every unwanted message from the company.