It’s probably fitting that I’ve already had to fend off one robocall while typing this. “This,” being the following news — if you’re reading these words, then statistically you’re probably one of the millions of Americans bombarded with robocalls and spam calls each year, something that usually elicits a quick hang-up or a tap of the “decline” button on your phone. One app, however, wants to give us a new tool to address these calls. A tool, in fact, that will let users sue robocallers for up to $3,000 for each annoying call they spam you with.
The app is called DoNotPay, which offers a number of solutions including help with appealing parking tickets and an easy way to cancel subscriptions. This new solution is called Robo Revenge, and you can now use it through DoNotPay’s website as well as its mobile app.
This service comes not a moment too soon, with a report noting that individual Americans were spammed with an estimated 18 robocalls every month last year. The way Robo Revenge works: The user is added to the federal Do Not Call Registry. A burner credit card is also issued to the user, who’s walked through how to use it to get the necessary information from the robocaller in order to sue them.
As part of this service, the app will produce demand letters and myriad court documents to help with the suits that are brought under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, which went into effect back in 1992 and is supposed to curb unsolicited pre-recorded telephone calls and text messages. “Consumers have to protect themselves,” DoNotPay founder and CEO Joshua Browder told Motherboard. “The only way the problem will end is if the robocallers start losing money every time they call someone.”
YouMail, a company that tracks robocall-related trends, says that Americans were hit with some 58.5 billion robocalls in 2019, 22% over the 47.8 billion such calls received in 2018.