The app called DoNotPay can help you complete tasks as simple as getting a refund for airplane wifi that doesn’t work, avoiding parking ticket fees or unsubscribing to a service you no longer use — but it can also help you sue anyone in a U.S. small claims court in which the plaintiff is suing for $10,000 or less.
“I created the app about four years ago,” DoNotPay founder Joshua Browder told FOX Business. “At the time, I got a lot of parking tickets. After I received my fifth ticket, I realized you get out of paying these fees pretty easily if you make a reasonable case, but you need a lawyer.”
That’s when he realized a perfect solution to these kinds of problems would be an app that uses technology to help people fight pricey government and corporate fees. The app’s services cost a flat rate of $3 per month.
DoNotPay app helped its users reverse $4 million worth of parking citations in just two years and helped users win more than 160,000 cases in 120 seconds or less each, according to the app’s website.
People who decide to sue a corporation in a small claims court, which Browder described as “a very fair court in which the judge usually votes in favor of the consumer” simply submit their claims on the app.
The app will then generate the tools necessary for the “beginning of this process for users,” including “all the filing documents needed to start these claims,” Browder said. It also uses scripts and answers to expected questions that the defendant is likely to ask in a small claims court.
Now, DoNotPay has a feature called “Robo Revenge,” which Browder created after he got four robocalls on Christmas Day last year. Americans received 58.5 billion robocalls in 2019 — up from 47.8 billion received in 2018, according to data compiled by YouMail.
Once a phone number is put on that list, it becomes a violation for scammers to call that number under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, which “restricts the making of telemarketing calls and the use of automatic telephone dialing systems and artificial or prerecorded voice messages.” Browder said the feature is geared toward phone calls but can also apply to SMS messages.
Users are given a free, virtual credit card to use when scammers ask for their payment information so it becomes possible to catch robocall scammers in the act. Users can also access that same credit card to sign up for free trials before being hit with a full-price charge a month later.
Robocall victims can earn up to $3,000 per call for scammers who are eventually caught.
In what Browder said was one of DoNotPay’s proudest success stories, the app helped consumers sue Equifax after the consumer credit reporting agency was hit with a massive data breach in September 2017. While Equifax sent in “very expensive lawyers” to argue their case, consumers were using DoNotPay — and winning.
Most of the app’s users range from ages 30 to 40, Browder said, which is surprising considering apps like Venmo attract users who are mostly under 30 years old. DoNotPay is also looking to make adjustments to make the app easier for older users by adding possible features like dictation.
“Hundreds of thousands of people have downloaded DoNotPay and about 30,000 use it monthly,” Browder said, adding that the DoNotPay office has a light-up map of the app’s users from across the globe.