Don’t hang up, don’t block them. Sue the robocallers with this app
How would you like to sue every company that sends you an annoying robocall? A new service from a consumer protection app called “Do Not Pay” claims it can help you get as much as $3,000 for every call coming to your phone.
“Do Not Pay” founder Joshua Browder told me he came up with the idea after being interrupted 3 times by robocalls on Christmas Day.
“We automatically enroll you on the Do Not Call List”, he said. The app first asks if you’re already on the list. It’s the important first step because it makes calling you illegal.
“You can sue them for a violation of something called the Telephone Consumer Protection Act”
“It becomes a federal crime, a civil crime to call you. When they call you the app will make a log of the call and generate the paperwork so you can sue them for a violation of something called the Telephone Consumer Protection Act”, explained Browder.
But isn’t it problematic, I asked him, that so many robocalls are coming from spoofed numbers? Computers are dialing those numbers and cloning or spoofing phone numbers from where I live. This technique has prevented the FCC and other consumer protection agencies put a stop to the calls. You cannot stop them if you don’t know who’s calling. Browder thought of this too and the app provides a solution.
It requires you to stay on the phone with the robocaller representative.
“In the app, we actually give you a virtual credit card that is issued under the Do Not Pay name, so it’s not tied to you,” said Browder. “When the scammer asks you for your credit card, you can give them our credit card. and when they try to run the card through the payment network, we get their phone, their address, and name.”
The app is free for iPhones but the services can also be used by visiting the www.donotpay.com
To use the service you must add a credit card number or bank account to be charged $3 a month. Browder said users can file complaints and submit problems as many times as needed for the same $3 a month cost.
The app has gotten mixed reviews. The negative reviews are mostly from people complaining about the $3 fee and difficulty of canceling the service. Cancellations can be submitted by email to firstname.lastname@example.org
The app also offers services to fight parking tickets, recover bank fees and will submit letters to landlords and over 100 other situations. There are no ads and Browder says the company doesn’t sell users information or data.