Vivint, Inc. has been hit with a class action suit over allegedly unsolicited telemarketing calls placed by a third-party marketing agency on its behalf.
The complaint states that the smart home services company contracts with co-defendant DSI Distributing to place unsolicited marketing calls. According to the lawsuit, DSI workers represent themselves to be Vivint employees and advertise Vivint’s services on these calls.
The lead plaintiff in the complaint, who claims his number is included in the National Do Not Call Registry (DNC), alleges he received an auto-dialed call from DSI on June 5th from a “spoofed” number associated with PECO energy. The man alleges that after a period of silence, a DSI representative claiming to represent Vivint came on the line, advertised Vivint’s services, and connected him with another Vivint representative. The plaintiff then set up an appointment with Vivint over the phone, for which his credit card was charged.
According to the complaint, the appointment set up by the plaintiff was the result of an illegal phone call. The man claims that although he called later in the day asking Vivint to stop calling, he received a week later two texts from the company advertising its services.
The case contends that these calls and texts constitute a violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) in that the law prohibits companies from calling numbers included in the DNC without obtaining prior express consent and from placing calls by way of an auto-dialer.
Unfortunately, TCPA violations have become increasingly common in recent years. According to the case, the FTC in 2016 reported it had received about 3.4 million complaints about robocalls; in 2017, that number increased to over 4.5 million. The complaint cites research that suggests nearly half of all calls made to cell phones this year will be fraudulent.
The suit seeks to certify the following classes:
“All persons within the United States to whom: (a) Defendants, and/or a third party acting on their behalf, made at least two telephone solicitation calls during a 12 month period; (b) to a residential telephone number; (c) that had been listed on the National Do Not Call Registry for more than 31 days prior to the first call; (d) promoting the goods or services of the Defendants; (e) at any time in the period that begins four years before the date of filing this Complaint to trial.”
“All persons within the United States to whom: (a) Defendants, and/or a third party acting on their behalf, made one or more non-emergency telephone calls; (b) to their cellular telephone number or number that is charged per call; (c) using an automatic telephone dialing system or an artificial or prerecorded voice; and (d) at any time in the period that begins four years before the date of the filing of this Complaint to trial.”
The complaint requests damages of $500 per call, with up to $1,500 per call in cases of willful and knowing violations.