Have you ever received an automated call from an unknown source? Most people ignore them and get back to their day-to-day activities, but robocalls are prohibited under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). Fort Lauderdale-based Caribbean Cruise Line is one of the latest to be found guilty of violating the TCPA.
Earlier this year, an Illinois federal judge ruled in favor of the plaintiffs for a total of $76 million to be disbursed to all individuals who received robocalls from Caribbean Cruise Line. The calls offered giveaways and were sent out between August 2011 and August 2012. Chicago-based plaintiffs Grant Birchmeier and Stephen Parkes claimed that they received multiple calls to their cell phone from the cruise line.
The calls promoted a free cruise if the individual took part in a short political survey. Individuals who completed the surveys were transferred to a Caribbean Cruise Line representative to book the cruise. Since they do not own ships, the cruises were reserved for Celebration Cruise Line. Once booked, the sales rep offered accommodation upgrades if the individual attended a sales presentation by the Berkley Group (a co-defendant) on resort condos.
After taking the online survey, Parkes says that he received nine robocalls from Political Opinions of America. Using the automated prompts, he attempted to remove himself from the calling list but to no avail.
Caribbean Cruise Line violated the TCPA on multiple occasions during the “free cruise” campaign that lasted for about a year. The initial calls were made using auto-dialing systems (ATDS) which are illegal, and the follow-up calls made by the survey issuer (Political Opinions of America) did not offer an opt-out option which is also illegal.
Updates to TCPA made it so that businesses cannot use the idea of an established relationship as a premise to solicit to consumers. It also states that individuals must provide prior written consent to be on a calling list and that companies must provide an opt-out option for robocalls. A few other TCPA violations include:
- Using an ATDS to leave pre-recorded messages or send texts
- Calling those listed on the Do Not Call Registry
- Failing to identify oneself during a call
- Calling those who have withdrawn consent to receive calls.
If you believe that you were the subject of any of these violations, be sure to reach out to the Florida TCPA attorneys at The Law Offices of Jibrael S. Hindi. Large companies knowingly violate the TCPA in an effort to take advantage of your lack of legal knowledge. We can put an end to those calls today! Contact us for a free case evaluation. You pay nothing until Jibrael wins for you!