In a case that is now making the rounds in the mainstream media, a Tennessee woman has been awarded $459,000 by an arbitrator after receiving 306 collection calls to her cell phone from a retail company using an automatic telephone dialing system after she revoked consent to be contacted.
The arbitrator found the retailer had violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act and awarded the maximum $1,500 fine for a willful violation for each of the calls that were placed after consent had been revoked.
A copy of the plaintiff’s application to confirm the arbitration award in the case of Davis v. Conn Appliances, Inc., can be accessed by clicking here.
The woman purchased furniture from the retailer that she agreed to pay off in monthly installments. The payments were due on the fifth of each month, but the woman was told she had a 10-day grace period to make the payment before it would be considered late. It was during these grace periods when the plaintiff received the calls seeking payment before she finally revoked consent, according to a published report. The company continued to call her cell phone via an ATDS after consent had been revoked.
Word of the award is traveling far and wide. Headlines from media outlets around the world are trumpeting the win for the woman, with the $459,000 awarded converted into U.K. pounds and Indian rupees, along with many reports quoting good old American dollars.
The plaintiff’s lawyer noted in the report that had it been a human who had called the plaintiff all those times instead of the retailer using an ATDS, the company would not have violated the TCPA.
“If they had just picked up a desktop phone and called her by dialing her ten-digit telephone number, that wouldn’t have been a violation of the law,” said Frank Kerney. “If a person says ‘don’t call me,’ you better stop calling them.”