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

Give green in Costa Rica: holiday gifts that will live on all year
Environment and Wildlife
542 views
Environment and Wildlife
542 views

Give green in Costa Rica: holiday gifts that will live on all year

Ed Bernhardt - December 16, 2017

A warm holiday greeting from the garden to all our readers. Another year has come to an end, and it’s…

Honduran opposition protesters take to the streets
Central America
1366 views
Central America
1366 views

Honduran opposition protesters take to the streets

Noe Leiva / AFP - December 15, 2017

Supporters of the leftist opposition in Honduras blocked streets in various cities around that country on Friday, despite political repression,…

Of snow, kindness and Northern Lights: a Costa Rican in Manitoba, Canada
Please Send Coffee!
2309 views
Please Send Coffee!
2309 views

Of snow, kindness and Northern Lights: a Costa Rican in Manitoba, Canada

Gustavo Díaz Cruz - December 14, 2017

My mom named me Gustavo Adolfo. I was born in Puntarenas, next to the sea, but my home was in…