Lawsuits against one of Portland’s best-known young companies allege that Ruby Receptionists overcharged 18,000 clients by more than $30 million.
Parallel cases filed in federal and state courts seek class-action status, alleging the Portland-based answering service didn’t properly disclose how it charges for time its operators spend talking with clients. And the suits allege Ruby charged clients for time callers spent on hold.
The suits date to 2017 and 2018 and have been steadily working their way through the courts since then, with plaintiffs’ attorneys pursuing federal and state claims simultaneously in hopes of expediting the case. The federal lawsuit is tentatively scheduled to go to trial next fall.
“The plaintiffs are confident that a Portland jury will understand that when somebody contracts to purchase something they
should get everything that they paid for,” said Keith Dubanevich, an attorney with the Portland firm Stoll Berne. “In this case Ruby didn’t deliver what it was obligated to provide.”
The lawsuits’ main element relates to how Ruby charges for time its operators spend on the phone. When operators take calls, Ruby charges in 30-second increments – and rounds up after each 30 seconds. So if an operator spends 31 seconds on the phone, Ruby charges for a full minute.
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