Santa Clara, CA: A privacy class action lawsuit has been filed against Fare Depot LLC alleging the online travel agency recorded consumers’ phone calls without their knowledge or permission.
Filed in California federal court, by Mynor F. Portillo, the complaint asserts that FareDepot recorded incoming calls, including his, without telling consumers they were doing so, in violation of California law.
“California Penal Code Section 632.7 prohibits the intentional, nonconsensual recording of any telephone communication without the consent of all parties where at least one party to the conversation is either using a cordless or cellular telephone,” the complaint states. “No expectation of confidentiality or privacy is required, nor is any other wrongful or surreptitious intent required — only that the defendant intended to record the communication.”
FareDepot provides consumers with an online database accessible through its website, to assist people in finding cheap domestic and international flights, and hotel, car rental and cruise deals, according to its website.
According to the complaint, Portillo called FareDepot from his cellphone in June and spoke to a customer service representative. He expected that the phone call would be private, since the representative didn’t alert him otherwise, nor did he provide express or implied consent to being recorded. However, he discovered after the call that FareDepot records all incoming phone calls, including the one he made, but doesn’t tell every caller about the practice, the complaint alleges.
Portillo asserts that as a result of his legal counsel sending FareDepot a letter about the surreptitious recordings, consumers who now call FareDepot hear a recording that states, “This call is being recorded. If you do not wish to be recorded please disconnect at this time.”
Portillo seeks to represent a proposed class of all people in California whose wireless phone conversations with FareDepot were intentionally recorded without them being informed during the applicable statute of limitations.
Portillo is represented by Scott J. Ferrell, David W. Reid and Victoria C. Knowles of Pacific Trial Attorneys APC.
The case is Portillo v. Fare Depot LLC, case number 2:17-cv-6318, in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.