Oregon company fined $600,000, ordered to pay back WA families targeted by robocalls

Attorney General Bob Ferguson shut down an Oregon-based robocalling operation, and required them to pay money back to hundreds of Washington families.

The AG’s office announced Thursday the results of their lawsuit against Global Grid, a telecom company based out of Corvallis. The company is ordered to shut down its illegal robocalling operation and pay more than $8,000 to the AG’s office, which will distribute the money to around 200 Washington families affected by the company’s hidden start-up fees.

Global Grid and its owner Harry Hart III have also been fined $603,000 in penalties for their illegal conduct, the AG’s office said.

Ferguson sued Global Grid in Oct. 2021, saying the company made more than 54,000 illegal robocalls to people in Washington—including those on the Do Not Call registry—between 2017 and 2019. Global Grid used a robocall program to contact consumers, selling a subscription service they claimed would block other robocalls. The company asserted the cost was "just pennies per month," yet charged a hidden startup fee from $8–$100.

The service did not block robocalls at all, Ferguson said, but simply added phone numbers to a list of blocked numbers on a telephone line.

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Washingtonians affected by Global Grid’s illegal fees with receive roughly $35 each in restitution payments.

A consent decree pending with the King County Superior Court would also require Global Grid to make those restitution payments within 12 months, due to their lack of funds and assets, the AG’s office said.