Discover Sued Over Marketing Robocalls

CHICAGO (Chicago Tribune/TNS) -

Discover made dozens of robocalls to a Virginia woman’s cellphone in violation of federal telemarketing laws, according to a lawsuit filed Thursday in federal court in Chicago.

Polly Hansen seeks class-action status in her lawsuit in U.S. District Court in the Northern District of Illinois.

She says Discover, based in the Chicago suburb of Riverwoods,Ill., violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act.

The act prohibits the making of “any call (other than a call made for emergency purposes or made with the prior express consent of the called party) using an automatic telephone dialing system or an artificial or prerecorded voice … to any telephone number assigned to a … cellular telephone service,” according to the lawsuit. The act also forbids any entity from making more than one call a year to any number on the National Do Not Call Registry, the lawsuit said.

Discover has previously been hit with lawsuits over its telemarketing practices, the filing said. In 2013, Discover settled one case for $8.7 million.

Discover declined to comment.

On Tuesday, a federal judge in Manhattan ruled that Time Warner Cable must pay $229,500 to a woman for placing 153 automated calls meant for someone else to her cellphone in less than a year, even after she told it to stop, Reuters reported.

In or around January 2015, Hansen said she received a recorded telemarketing call on her cellphone from Discover Bank. When a person got on the line, she requested that the company stop calling her, but she said she continued to get similar calls, the suit says.

She said she has received more than 30 calls from Discover. She has gotten three calls in as little as five hours, and has gotten calls as early as 6 a.m. and as late as 11 p.m., the lawsuit said. Hansen also said she put her phone number on the Do Not Call Registry in 2011.

The lawsuit said the class size could exceed 1,000 consumers.

The lawsuit seeks various damages. For example, for violations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, the suit seeks $500 for each call to cellphone numbers using a recorded voice. Also, for “knowing and/or willful violations” of the law, the suit seeks damages of up to $1,500 for each call to their cellphone using a recorded voice.

Other damages sought include $500 for each call made to consumers whose numbers were on the Do Not Call Registry.

Hansen also said the calls should stop.