For-profit university University of Phoenix has recently faced complaints for allegedly violating the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). In June 2016 the company was accused of placing unwanted calls to cellular phones without receiving consent. Plaintiff Twonesha Johnson-Hendricks filed a suit against the University of Phoenix on behalf of herself and similarly situated individuals in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California. This would not be the first time the university faced allegations of TCPA violations.
Ms. Johnson-Hendricks had allegedly been contacted over a two day period in August of 2015. She received prerecorded messages and calls placed using an autodialing system (ADS), which is strictly prohibited under the federal law which seeks to protect consumer privacy. She had never given the University of Phoenix her express written consent, did not have an established business relationship with them, and to top it off, her cell phone number was registered on the Do Not Call Registry.
The plaintiff received 6 calls total over this two-day period. The calls all went to her cell phone and contained pre-recorded messages soliciting the university’s services. The University of Phoenix is America’s largest for-profit university that uses aggressive marketing tactics to reach out to working adults who may be seeking higher education to pursue better employment. Having her phone number placed on the National Do Not Call Registry should have barred Twonesha from receiving unwanted calls, but large companies often break the rules.
The TCPA seeks to protect consumers by forbidding the use of autodialing systems to place an enormous amount of calls to randomly-generated phone numbers, many of which may be on that registry. Many of the owners of these randomly-generated numbers have not consented to receive marketing calls. Each call or text that is unlawfully sent out can bring plaintiffs between $500 and $1500 through the aid of a TCPA attorney.
These numbers reflect the damages sought by Twonesha Johnson-Hendricks, when she sought $500 in statutory damages and $1500 in treble damages for each violation by the University of Phoenix. Later on, however, in October 2016 the lawsuit abruptly settled with undisclosed circumstances.
University of Phoenix faced similar circumstances in June 2016 when plaintiff Ciara Connolly filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania against the university for violating the TCPA when she began to receive calls to her cell phone back in February. The plaintiff claims the university used an autodilaing system and used pre-recorded or automated voices that she was able to hear when she answered the phone. Ms. Connolly wrote to the university to demand they cease calling her cell phone, but the calls continued. This case was settled outside of court and dismissed with prejudice.
Over 1,000 complaints are listed on Consumeraffairs.com against the for-profit university, which has an overall 1-star rating. If you receive calls from the University of Phoenix or a similar company that does not have your express written consent to call you, you may be eligible to recover $500-$1500 per call or text. Contact Jibrael S. Hindi and his team of consumer law attorneys online or at (844) JIBRAEL for a free case evaluation. Remember, you do not pay The Law Offices of Jibrael S. Hindi a dime until they win for you!