Judge rules against two companies accused of making millions of robocalls

Judge rules against two companies accused of making millions of robocalls
Two companies barraged Washington phone lines with 13 million robocalls over two years. Now, a judge says they broke consumer protection laws. (file photo)

What do you call getting robocalls from an air duct company? A time suck.

And now a King County judge has ruled that two air duct companies made more than 13 million robocalls to one million Washingtonians over two years.

Attorney General Bob Ferguson filed the case last September.

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“This is unusual to have this sheer volume. We had individuals who had close to 200 calls from these entities. That’s problematic on many levels,” says Ferguson.

Court documents say that the companies, US Air Ducts & Sky Builders and DLM Services, used a robocalling service to contact people, even though they were registered with the national do not call list.  And the company was changing the ID numbers of those illegal calls.

“They are based out of Vancouver. They could make it look like a local call, for example, in Snohomish County. So, not only do they engage in robocalls – which is unlawful – they actually made it look like their calls sometimes were coming from your neighborhood. That’s illegal to do as well,” says Ferguson.

Documents we obtained showed 500 Washingtonians receiving more than 100 calls.

Alain Godbout received 133 of them.

“I’m very very glad about that, that’s for sure,” said Godbout, when we spoke to him about the court proceedings.

Remember, there are federal robocall laws, and Washington state has one, too.

“So if you dial someone up without their permission using an automated system for a commercial purpose, you are violating that state law,” says AG Ferguson.

If you get a robocall, hang up. You can report robocalls to the Federal Trade Commission. Report scam calls to the state Attorney General's Office.

We reached out to the companies for a response to the lawsuit. The companies had to shut down and are in receivership, but attorney Brad Thoreson, representing one of the owners, sent us this statement:

“Whether right or wrong, the AG put these companies who had likely upwards of 10,000 satisfied customers out of business based on an asserted “dozens” of complaints. It only filed 10 declarations from consumers to support all its claims. 7 from people angry about the calls and 3 from consumers. Out of likely 10,000 customers.”