Until now, the majority of us might have simply hung up on robocallers. However, there’s now a way to get back at the companies who torment you with endless robocalls that ask you for your information or try to sell you stuff. The solution is called Robo Revenge, a service that lets you sue the unwanted caller for up to $US3,000 ($4,469) per call.
Robo Revenge is the latest service offered by DoNotPay, a robot lawyer app that lets consumers do things like appeal parking tickets, cancel services or subscriptions or schedule appointments at government offices, among others. Joshua Browder, DoNotPay’s founder and CEO, told Motherboard that big companies have failed to protect consumers from robocalls. This means that they have to take measures for themselves.
“Consumers have to protect themselves,” Browder told Motherboard. “The only way the problem will end is if the robocallers start losing money every time they call someone.”
The service is now available through DoNotPay’s website or app.
This is how Robo Revenge works, according to Motherboard. First, it automatically adds you to the Do Not Call Registry, a list managed by the Federal Trade Commission that aims to prevent people from receiving unwanted sales calls. Then, it gives you a virtual DoNotPay burner credit card (issued in DoNotPay’s name) to provide when you receive robocalls. Robo Revenge uses this transaction information to get the robocaller’s contact information and then guides you through the process to sue them.
You can sue the unwanted caller for up to $US3,000 ($4,469) under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, a law that protects consumers who have indicated that they don’t want to be bothered endlessly and are on the Do Not Call Registry. Robo Revenge automatically generates demand letters and court documents to help users with their claim.
According to YouMail, a company that provides services to block robocalls, Americans received 58.5 billion robocalls in 2019, a 22 per cent increase compared to the 47.8 billion received in 2018. Scams made up nearly half of all robocalls, or 44 per cent, while telemarketing calls made up 14 per cent.
Browder states that lawyers have been making millions suing robocallers. The CEO maintains that this isn’t true for the average person who doesn’t understand the law and doesn’t know who is calling them. Nonetheless, Browder says that with Robo Revenge, customers can take control of these situations.
Although this seems like a great way to get some cash to ease your suffering, it should be noted that this won’t keep away all scammers. Robo Revenge can’t help you with international scammers, says Browder, because they’re based abroad and you don’t know where they are. It does work on U.S. companies trying to bug you, though.
“We can take them out with U.S. based laws,” Browder said. “If they’re calling someone and every time they’re calling someone, there’s a risk of a penalty, maybe they’ll think twice.”
Editor’s Note: This service does not appear to be available in Australia.