Notice to appear at new court date
Audio transcript of case in mp3 format (5.45 MB). There is 5+ minutes of (skippable) silence from 1:50 - 7:10 as documents are being read.
September 18, 2002
Advance Resorts of America settled a case brought by Bennett Haselton. Bennett sued for two violations and received a $750.00 settlement. Bennett thinks ARA may have stopped using illegal recorded calls.
April 8, 2002
On (or about) March 22, 2002, I received a call from ARA's Steve Olsen. He asked if I would remove his company from my site in exchange for a donation to a nonprofit organization I'm involved with. I declined the offer but told him that he could write a statement as to why the site should be ignored or taken with a grain of salt and I would post it. He also said that he thought I was on "the right track" when I said the recorded calls might be contracted out to another company (see March 19 post below). He said three or four such companies exist in Washington State and gave me the names of two: Wild West Tours and Emerald City Tours. When the judge asked "Have you ever used automated recordings?" and Mr. Olsen replied "No we haven't," he may have been telling the truth, but he may not have been telling the whole truth.
March 19, 2002
In court, Steve Olsen (company president) denied that Advance Resorts of America had ever used recorded calls in the past. Since I didn't have evidence (i.e. a recording of the call), the judge had to weigh my word against Mr. Olsen's. Since I had the burden of proof, the judge was forced to rule against me. After court, I had a thought -- I hypothesize that Mr. Olsen may not have lied about his company violating the law ... perhaps the call was from a contractor working on their behalf. I wish I had brought this up in court; it's the one explanation I found that could fit the facts of me getting a recorded call and Mr. Olsen's company never using recorded calls. I'll be putting up an audio transcript when I get it. It's very entertaining as Mr. Olsen throws down some great ad hominem attacks.
So Mr. Olsen won the battle. I humbly concede. Good form, Steve.
March 13, 2002
After some back and forth with the judge's assistant who wouldn't tell me whether I had to show up to court because that would be "legal advice," I figured out that you don't actually show up to court for these appeals. After getting ARA's brief -- past the due date -- I stuck my brief in the brief dropbox in the Superior Court Clerk's office. Either I wasn't supposed to do that and the judge never saw my brief, or the judge saw it but ignored it since it was filed late. Either way, I lost the appeal and the case was sent back to small claims. The new date is March 19, 2002.