Washington AG Sues Robocall Blocker for Making Robocalls

The joke about the song, “Isn’t it ironic” by Alanis Morrissette is that most of the situations mentioned in the song are coincidences, not irony. Rain on your wedding day is not irony. Getting into a traffic jam when you’re already late is not irony. I could go on, but I digress. Why am I mentioning this? Because I have for you something that Alanis could sing about and be accurate. What is it? A company that provides robocall-blocking services has been sued by the Attorney General of Washington state for … you guessed it, making robocalls.

The suit was filed against Global Grid Telecom and accuses the company of violating the Washington Automatic Dialing and Announcing Device Statute and the state’s Consumer Protection Act by making robocalls, including calling people who were on the Do Not Call Registry. The company was also accused of making deceptive claims in their solicitations.

Whether this is ironic or a coincidence is not 100% clear, but the service being peddled by the company did not even work. That means a company that offered robocall-blocking services robocalled individuals to sell them a service that did not block robocalls.

All the service did, according to the AG’s complaint, was add phone numbers to a list of blocked numbers, without actually blocking new, unwanted robocalls.

“My office will continue to serve as a watchdog to protect Washingtonians from illegal robocalls,” said Bob Ferguson, the AG of Washington. “Here is my message to deceptive robocallers: Immediately stop harassing Washingtonians, or we will hold you accountable.”

The AG is seeking to have the money paid by consumers who purchased the service returned back to them. Customers were charged an upfront fee of between $30 and $60 and annual subscription fees of $70 to $80 per year. The AG also wants to shut down the illegal conduct. The company is also facing fines of up to $7,500 per violation under the Consumer Protection Act.

When making the calls — one individual received 23 robocalls — the company pitched itself as an official message from CenturyLink, a local Internet, phone, and cable provider.

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