$2 Million For Recording Calls
California vs. Bank of America
$2M judgement – BoA allegedly recorded calls, but failed to inform call recipients in a timely manner that calls were being recorded. Highlights include:
- $1,975,000 judgment, distributed across 5 counties (Los Angeles, San Diego, Alameda, Riverside, Ventura)
- $1,635,000 in civil penalties ($327,000 to each county)
- $240,000 in fees to cover costs of the investigation ($48,000 to each county)
- $100,000 CyPres award to the Consumer Protection Prosecution Trust Fund
- BoA must implement a Recorded Call Disclosure, given immediately, at the beginning of a call, informing any called party, clearly and conspicuously, the call will be recorded
- a greeting that identifies the caller and entity on whose behalf the call is made may precede the Recorded Call Disclosure
- BoA must implement a compliance program
- designate an employee responsible for compliance, and provide that person’s contact details to plaintiffs
- conduct periodic testing
[LA Co. Sup. Ct.; BC660621]
jbho: once again, if you’re going to record calls, make sure the first line in the script/IVR/prerecorded message announces that.
Carbon Copy Class Actions
Class complaints – Defendant’s allegedly recorded inbound calls from plaintiff’s wireless phone without his knowledge or consent.
Portillo v. American Medical [C.D. CA; 2:17-cv-02932]
Portillo v. Chopard [C.D. CA; 2:17-cv-02939]
jbho: say it with me – if you’re going to record calls, make sure the first line in the script/IVR/prerecorded message announces that.
FYI – the complaints here are almost identical. Both were filed on 17 April 2017 by the same law firm.
Alleged Eavesdropping On Unsolicited Calls
Newsom v. Pivotal Payments
Class complaint – Pivotal Payments allegedly made unsolicited autodialed calls to plaintiffs mobile. Plaintiff further alleged that calls were recorded, without any warning or notice to her. Plaintiff filed claims under the TCPA and CIPA.
UPDATE: 29Mar2017 – parties have (quickly) settled for an undisclosed amount, and a joint motion for dismissal was granted (Doc #14).
[S.D. CA; 3:16-cv-03023]
jbho: the complaint doesn’t specify the type of calls, so difficult to know if she was the intended recipient or not. Nonetheless, another reminder of the importance data hygiene, up-to-date records of consent, as well as scrubbing of mobile and reassigned numbers.
Additionally, if you’re going to record calls, make sure the first line in the script/IVR/prerecorded message announces the call will be recorded.
Finally, also worth remembering is that call recording liability is broader for calls to mobile, where any recording without consent is prohibited. Liability for landlines is triggered where calls contain ‘confidential’ information.
Alleged Recording Of Calls To Mobiles
Vaccaro v. Nissan
Class complaint – Nissan allegedly recorded, without any warning, notice or automated message, outbound calls to and inbound calls from plaintiff’s mobile.
[LA Co Super. Ct.; BC653385]
jbho: if you’re going to record calls, make sure the first line in the script/IVR/prerecorded message announces that.
The complaint alleges Nissan recorded collection and sales calls, but does not specify the types of calls plaintiff received/made. But I suppose that since the class is limited to cellular telephone and cordless landline users, the content of the communications may not be relevant.
Call Recording 101
Schram v. Yelp
Class complaint – Yelp allegedly recorded inbound calls to its financing department from plaintiff’s cordless phones without his knowledge or consent.
[L.A. Co. Super. Ct.; BC652472]
jbho: do I have to say it again? If you’re going to record calls, make sure the first line in the script/IVR/prerecorded message announces that.
$4 Million To Settle Call Recordings
Saunders v. Cabela’s
$4M settlement approved – Cabela’s allegedly recorded inbound calls to its customer service center, from plaintiffs’ mobile & cordless phones, without plaintiffs’ knowledge or consent. Highlights include:
• $3,850,000 non-reversionary settlement fund
• $71.81 per call for each class member, capped at $5,000
• $8,500 for each class representative (4)
• $350,000 for class administration
• $1,450,000 for class counsel (1/3 of settlement fund)
[S.F. Co. Super. Ct.; CGC-14-537095]
jbho: again, check your scripts. Do they alert the called party of the recording?
Banks Hit With Call Recording Suit
Wang v. Wells Fargo
Class complaint – Wells Fargo – and a host of other companies – through telemarketers EPG and Ironwood, allegedly made and recorded “thousands of telemarketing calls” without consumer knowledge or consent. Plaintiffs allege each defendant had actual knowledge of the call scripts – the purpose of which was to discuss sensitive financial information (“business owner’s method of processing credit and debit card transactions is by its nature sensitive and confidential”).
Plaintiffs also allege the calls were made from spoofed numbers, to hide the identities of the out of state telemarketing centers.
[N.D. Ill; 1:16-cv-11223]
jbho: always announce if the call will be recorded, and make it the first statement in the script. This is not just a California issue, but also an issue in similar two-party consent states like Florida, Maryland, Nevada and New Hampshire. So probably best to treat all calls as if they involve a two-party consent jurisdiction.
If you are interested, named defendants are: Wells Fargo, Fifth Third, First Data, Vantiv, National Processing Company, EPG, Ironwood, and several of the above’s company officers.
$7.3 Million For Recording Hotel Reservation Calls
Roberts v. Wyndham
$7.3 million Settlement Approved – Wyndham allegedly recorded calls involving California residents without knowledge or consent. Highlights include:
• $7,325,000 non-reversionary settlement fund
• ~$669.73 per call for each class member (capped at $5,000)
• $15,000 for each class representative
• $298,532.58 for settlement administration
• $1,898,247.05 for class counsel (25% of settlement fund)
[N.D. CA; 3:12-cv-05083]
jbho: it appears here the calls to/from California residents may have been incorrectly routed through a call center that was not designed to handle two-party consent. Another reason to treat ANY call as if they were in a two-party consent state.
$1.55 Million Deal For Recording Customer Calls
Edery v. CitiBank
$1.55 million settlement – Citibank allegedly recorded account servicing calls of over 400 customers without consumer’s knowledge or consent. Highlights include:
• $2,350 for each class member
• $80,000 for class administration
• $480,000 for class counsel (30% of settlement fund)
[CGC 13 532035, in Superior Court of California for the County of San Francisco]
jbho: always announce if the call will be recorded, and make it the first statement in the script.
$13M To End Privacy Row Over Recorded Calls
Fanning v. HSBC
Preliminary $13 million settlement – HSBC allegedly recorded calls with consumers about their lines of credit without consumer’s knowledge or consent. Highlights include:
• $13 million non-reversionary settlement fund
• $8 – $132 for each class member
• $17,500 for class representatives
o $5,000 for lead representatives (2)
o $1,500 for other named plaintiffs’ (5)
• $803,182 for settlement administration
• up to $4.3 million for class counsel (33% of settlment fund)
[C.D. CA; 12-CV-00885]
jbho: always announce if the call will be recorded, and make it the first statement in the script. This is not just a California issue, but also an issue in similar two-party consent states like Florida, Maryland, Nevada and New Hampshire.