According to court documents, a Florida real estate licensee has filed a class action lawsuit1, alleging that Zillow violated the 22-year old Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) which forbids any autodialer calls to cell phones.
Filed in the U.S. District Court, Southern District of Florida, the Plaintiff alleges that Zillow did not have prior express consent to use automated phone dialing systems to telemarket to her and other Realtors, and that she had no pre-existing relationship with Zillow, nor did she give permission for the company to contact her.
Allegations also point to Zillow calling individuals on the National Do Not Call Registry, therefore, the lawsuit is suing on behalf of all real estate licensees in the State of Florida whose cell phones were contacted using an autodialer, as well as licensees who were also on the DNC Registry who, within the four years before the filing received more than one telemarketing call within any 12-month period from, or on behalf of, Zillow offering its services.
The suit alleges there are hundreds, perhaps thousands of real estate licensees in Florida impacted, and in cases of this nature, the inevitable likely next step is that all licensees in the state will receive letters in the mail asking if they were either contacted by Zillow while on the DNC Registry, or whose cell phones were called by autodialers.
The Plaintiff has requested a trial by jury, and relief sought includes injunctive relief to bar future TCPA violations, statutory damages, attorney’s fees, and any other rewards the Court deems just and proper.
The real estate industry is well trained to observe the TCPA, and if true, it could be seen as a cruel irony that cold calling has been a terrifying minefield for agents, but they are the subject of having their own rights violated.