Costa Rica man beats Citibank in phone harassment suit

January 27, 2012

One thing that expatriates do not miss in Costa Rica is those pesky telephone promotion campaigns. Apparently, they won’t be bothered by them anytime soon, due to a decision Tuesday by a court in San José.

The court found for complainant Sebastian Elizondo against Citibank’s Citi Tarjetas phone campaign promoting the bank’s credit cards. Based on the General Law of Communications, a judge ruled that the calls interrupted Elizondo’s work, rest and family reunions.

This law does not forbid phone solicitations, unless they are insistent and exaggerated. Elizondo thought they were and went to court in October 2009 to stop them. The bank is tight-lipped about the court’s resolution but may appeal it.

Elizondo’s lawyer, Alberto Castillo, said the bank called his client no fewer than 20 times per month offering him credit cards and other services. Fed up, the lawyer said, his client then recorded the calls after advising his caller that he would do so.

The recordings were offered into evidence against the bank. Elizondo originally asked for ₡6 million ($11,800) in damages, but the judge awarded only 1 million ($2,000). As is customary, if the verdict survives appeal, the defendant will be liable for the plaintiff’s court costs.

Castillo commented to the daily La Nación: “In Costa Rica, we consumers complain about this harassment, but no one files a formal accusation. One brave guy was moved [to act] and now the pathway is open.”

You may be interested

5 questions for US painter Suzahn King
Weekend Arts Spotlight
134 views
Weekend Arts Spotlight
134 views

5 questions for US painter Suzahn King

Elizabeth Lang - May 20, 2018

Suzahn King's paintings, known for their intricate details, are currently focused on her surroundings in Costa Rica, a country she…

Jean Marc Calvet, part III: Leaving Marco behind
Artists
291 views
Artists
291 views

Jean Marc Calvet, part III: Leaving Marco behind

Elizabeth Lang - May 18, 2018

This is the story of Nicaraguan-based French artist Jean Marc Calvet: a man whose complex life, obscurities and misfortunes overwhelmed…

Traditional masks
Tico Times Pic of the Day
311 views
Tico Times Pic of the Day
311 views

Traditional masks

The Tico Times - May 18, 2018

Creating masks out of balsa wood, carved by their own hands and based on the their community's traditions, the Brunca…