By Phillip Swann
The TV Answer Man –@tvanswerman

TV Answer Man, my wife says you wrote something awhile back about a lawsuit with DIRECTV over robot calls. Can you let us know what you have to do to get the money they are offering up? Iam on the do not call list and I think I got a call from them. — Hal, Toledo, Ohio.

Hal, DIRECTV this year settled a five-year-long class action lawsuit over telemarketing calls (“robo calls”) for $16.85 million and it could mean a payout to you as much as $464. But today is the last day to file a claim if you are eligible to receive the money. The lawsuit, which was filed by several West Virginia residents, alleged that a DIRECTV authorized dealer, AC1 Communications in Ohio, made telemarketing calls in 2017 to people who were listed on the National Do Not Call Registry. The plaintiffs charged that the calls violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, which prohibits unsolicited telemarketing calls by automatic systems or pre-recorded messages. You can check here if your number is on the list, and if you are eligible to file a claim for the payout. You do not have to be a DIRECTV subscriber to get a share. The court has ruled that anyone whose telephone number was listed on the Do Not Call Registry, and who received more than one telemarketing call within a 12-month period from AC1, is included on the list of potential recipients. But the web site established by the plaintiffs says you must submit a claim form online no later than today (August 7, 2023) or mail your completed paper claim form so that it is postmarked no later than today (August 7, 2023). The site says the average payout will be $464 but the minimum payout will be $324. (The ultimate payout will be determined by how many people submit claims.)

While DIRECTV has settled the case, the settlement must still be approved by the court in an August 24 hearing. Attorneys for the plaintiffs say that could delay any payments. “Payments will be made about two months after the Court approves the settlement,” states the web site for the plaintiffs. “The Court will consider final approval of the Settlement on August 24, 2023. Even if the Court approves the Settlement, there may be appeals. It is always uncertain whether and when appeals can be resolved and resolving them can take more than a year.”

Hal, hope that helps. Happy viewing and stay safe!

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— Phillip Swann