Pittsburgh man says energy company's telephone calls violated TCPA

By Nicholas Malfitano | Dec 13, 2017

PITTSBURGH – A Pittsburgh man believes a Texas-based energy company violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) when it solicited his business over the phone to buy electricity.

Mark B. Aronson of Pittsburgh filed suit in the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas on Dec. 6 versus Direct Energy, Direct Energy LP, Direct Energy HQ, Direct Energy Headquarters, Direct Energy Marketing, Direct Energy Marketing Limited, Direct Energy, LLC and Direct Energy Services, LLC (collectively doing business as “Direct Energy”), of Houston, Texas.

Aronson initiated the TCPA litigation in response to incoming, commercial, unsolicited telemarketer phone calls, soliciting business to purchase a subscription for the supply of electric energy, placed to his residential telephone number on May 24, 2017 and Dec. 5, 2017 – in addition to a separate call placed on another number at his residence, unrelated to the instant case.

Aronson says he found himself chatting with ladies who identified themselves as a name that sounded like “Shmida” and Stephanie during the calls, both of whom explained that defendant is a supplier of electric energy to Duquesne Light Company customers in the Pittsburgh area.

“During each of the telephone calls discussed above, plaintiff asked the person with whom he was speaking to please have his name and residential telephone number removed from their respective company databases and from defendant’s database, and plaintiff spelled his name and very clearly and slowly said his telephone number,” the suit states.

Aronson alleges each of these telemarketing calls, made upon behalf of the defendant were knowingly and intentionally placed and that the defendant had sufficient time to remove his name and residential telephone number between May 24, 2017, the date of plaintiff’s immediately preceding DO NOT CALL request, and Dec. 5, 2017 when Stephanie called him.

“Under the TCPA and applicable regulations, plaintiff is entitled to be awarded for the subject live incoming telemarketing telephone call received after defendant and its marketing agents had had enough time to remove his name from its database, the sum of five hundred dollars for each violation and the TCPA authorizes the Honorable Court to treble the sum of five hundred dollars to fifteen hundred dollars per violation when the call had been willfully placed,” the suit reads.

The plaintiff is seeking damages of $1,500 plus costs, and is representing himself in this matter.

Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas case GD-17-016675

From the Pennsylvania Record: Reach Courts Reporter Nicholas Malfitano at nickpennrecord@gmail.com

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