No one likes picking up the phone only to hear a telemarketer on the other end — especially if your number is already on the national Do Not Call Registry. However, a select few may now get their patience rewarded with some cash. If you received a call from a Dish Network telemarketer in 2010 or 2011, you could be eligible for $1,200 per call. Ka-ching!
To qualify for a payout, you must have received a call from Satellite Systems Network on behalf of Dish Network between May 1, 2010, and August 1, 2011. But 2011 was seven years ago and you’ve probably received dozens of calls from telemarketers since then, so how do you know if you’re entitled to the money? All you have to do is enter your phone number into a handy telephone lookup form, which compares your digits against the 18,066 phone numbers belonging to people who are permitted to collect the $1,200. To see if your number is on the list, click here.
The awsuit alleges Do Not Call violations against Dish Network, meaning telemarketers pitched products to people who were part of the Do Not Call Registry. It is illegal for most telemarketers or sellers to call one of the more than 226 million numbers on the Do Not Call Registry, but telemarketers continue to violate these rules. In 2015, 29 million robocalls flooded Americans’ phones. Since 2014, the number of complaints about Do Not Call violations has increased by 120 percent.
Given how prevalent robocalls are, it’s surprising that lawyers are having such a hard time convincing people to claim the money they’re rightfully owed. In an ironic twist, “Talking to them firsthand, I learned that they thought that we were, A, telemarketers, or B, trying to scam them,” attorney John W. Barrett said. But Barrett, who works for the West Virginia-based law firm Bailey Glasser, is undeterred by the lukewarm response to his phone calls. “We have an obligation to be standing up on the mountaintops shouting about the result that we got in this lawsuit to try to reach the people that need to be reached.”
Dish Network is currently appealing the court ruling and blames the outside contractor, which has since shut down. “These calls violated Dish’s express instructions to the contractor,” a spokesperson for the company told CBS News.
Visit www.donotcall.gov to add your number to the Do Not Call Registry. If you’re not sure whether you’ve already registered your phone number, you can also verify that information.