Automated, prerecorded calls (“robocalls”) to your cell phone: it’s become a familiar nuisance. Whether it’s for a new security system (“there are break-ins reported in your area”) or a fishy-sounding credit card deal, Americans are fed up with them. Try to get yourself removed from their calling list and the calls only continue more frequent than before. Ask to speak to a representative and inform them they are illegally calling your cell phone, and they hang up on you. These calls are generally impossible to trace: the lawbreakers usually spoof their caller ID and change it often, making it practically impossible to pinpoint their location and identity.
But one company accused of placing robocalls to mobile phones can’t hide behind anonymity. Satellite television provider Dish Network is being sued by a group of people in a class action lawsuit, and all the plaintiffs say the company will not cut out the robocalls to mobile phones (which are illegal according to the Telephone Consumer Protect Act).
Nancy Iniguez, 71, is the lead plaintiff on the class action lawsuit. Iniguez says she received scores of automated collections calls from the company, nothing that the robocalls came daily for two-and-a-half months this summer and were apparently intended for someone else who failed to return Dish Network equipment.
"I don't have Dish Network, I've never had Dish Network, and this is not my account," Iniguez insisted.
Iniguez said she called the company five times to tell live operators they'd made a mistake. She said the calls continued despite repeated assurances they would stop.
"It was so annoying. You would be having dinner with friends or you might be out somewhere, and the phone call would come,” said Iniguez, whose grandson is a consumer attorney.
The lawsuit is looking to recover $500 for each illegal robocall plus $,1500 for each call that came after Iniguez notified the company of the error.
Dish Network denies the allegations and says it will fight them in court.