The new price of violating the Telephone Consumer Protection Act? $76 million. At least, that’s how much a group of TCPA violators are facing for allegedly deceptive actions. This group includes Caribbean Cruise Line, Economic Strategy Group, The Berkley Group and Vacation Ownership Marketing Tours.
These companies allegedly made over 900,000 illegal robocalls to consumers in the form of political surveys that offered a chance to win a free cruise after the survey’s completion. At the end of the survey, consumers were redirected to a Caribbean Cruise Line representative. This deceptive series of actions led to a four-year settlement process. Finally, an agreement was reached in which each member of the class is eligible to between $500 and $1,500 per illegal call. Four class representatives will receive $10,000 each.
$76 million is the largest TCPA fund settlement on record. This groundbreaking case has halted a deceptive action and showcased the amount of accountability that companies are now being held to. Violating the TCPA is not a light matter anymore. It carries hefty consequences for companies. The Caribbean Cruise Line TCPA settlement should serve as a cautionary tale to companies that ignore regulations.
The settlement agreement was filed on September 28, 2016. Preliminary approval of this settlement has been granted, and a hearing will be held for final approval in January of 2017.