MANTECA, CA - A woman who says she received scores of automated collections calls from Dish Network on her cell phone is leading a class action lawsuit against the company.
Nancy Iniguez, 71, said the robocalls came daily for two-and-a-half months this summer and were apparently intended for someone else who failed to return Dish Network equipment.
"I don't have Dish Network, I've never had Dish Network, and this is not my account," Iniguez insisted.
Iniguez said she called the company five times to tell live operators they'd made a mistake.
She said the calls continued despite repeated assurances they would stop.
"It was so annoying. You would be having dinner with friends our you might be out somewhere, and the phone call would come."
Dish Network may have messed with the wrong grandmother.
Out of desperation Iniguez called her grandson, Nicholas Bontrager, a consumer attorney in Beverly Hills.
"He said 'grandma, this is against the law,'" Iniguez recalled. "That's when I learned about robocalls."
Bontrager filed a class action lawsuit against Dish in U.S District Court in Sacramento, alleging multiple violations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act because Dish Network did not have a business relationship with Iniguez and because the company kept calling after she demanded they stop.
Todd Friedman, the lead attorney in Bontrager's firm, said he will seek other plaintiffs when he's able to examine Dish Network's files.
"There's a good chance if it's happening to Mrs. Iniguez, it's happening to other Americans," Friedman said.
News10 provided Dish Network with a copy of the lawsuit and the company responded with a brief written statement.
"We believe these allegations lack merit and we will defend ourselves vigorously against them," spokesman John Hall wrote in an email.
The lawsuit seeks $500 for each negligent robocall pluls $1500 for each call that came after Iniguez notified the company of the error.
"They need to be held accountable," she said.
by George Warren, GWarren@news10.net