Culligan International Water System Maintenance Call TCPA Class Action

This class action brings suit against Culligan International Company, its franchisees Eastern Wisconsin Water Conditioning Co. and Culligan Soft Water Service Co., and its advertiser Unco Data Systems, Inc. The complaint alleges the companies are responsible for prerecorded calls directed at consumers which it claims violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA).

The class for this action is all persons in the US (1) who received a prerecorded telephone call or voice message (2) to schedule maintenance or offer service on a Culligan water system (3) on or after December 14, 2014, (4) without those persons’ prior express written consent to receive such calls.

Plaintiff Aaron Kapp bought a home that had a Culligan water filtration system. Soon after he bought it, he scheduled a maintenance inspection with a Culligan dealer. The dealer recorded his number, but Kapp did not sign any agreement to receive telemarketing calls. Eventually, Kapp discontinued the service and disposed of the equipment.

Sometime after that, he received a prerecorded call. The message began, “I am calling from Culligan to let you know this is the final reminder to schedule the required maintenance on your drinking water system. Maintenance is critical in extending the life of your system plus provides the high-quality drinking water you have grown to know and trust from Culligan. Please call as soon as possible to schedule the required maintenance…”

Is a call from a company claiming to want to schedule maintenance a telemarketing call? The complaint says it is, claiming that it was what the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) calls a “dual purpose call,” where the caller claims to have a customer service purpose but also wants to promote its goods or services.

The FCC has said “that such messages may inquire about a customer’s satisfaction with a product already purchased, but are motivated in part by the desire to ultimately sell additional goods or services. If the call is intended to offer property, goods, or services for sale either during the call, or in the future (such as in response to a message that provides a toll-free number), that call is an advertisement.”

The number on Kapp’s caller ID was identified as belonging to Unco, and the number given in the message was for the dealer that had performed the earlier maintenance inspection.

Kapp had received earlier, similar calls, and he had even called the number provided and asked to be removed from their call list. However, the representative he spoke to said only “corporate” could do that.

Article Type: Lawsuit
Topic: Privacy
No case events.
Tags: TCPA, Unsolicited Telephone Calls, Use of artificial or pre-recorded voice