Receiving unwanted phone calls and text messages is annoying, but did you know it can also be against the law?
The Telephone Consumer Protection Act was enacted in 1991 to protect consumers from annoying telemarketers and other types of solicitors who do not have permission to contact them or who break other TCPA laws, such as:
- Placing robocalls (using an automated dialing machine and/or pre-recorded message);
- Sending unsolicited text messages;
- Not providing an option to opt out of the calls/texts;
- Calling numbers listed on the National Do Not Call Registry or on company-specific “do-not-call” lists;
- Other TCPA violations.
Consumers may be able to collect between $500 and $1,500 per violation by filing a TCPA lawsuit or joining TCPA class action lawsuit against the offending company. Recently, companies including Wal-Mart, Rite Aid, American Eagle, Chase Bank, and Wells Fargo have faced class action lawsuits for allegedly violating the Telephone Consumer Protection Act.
If you received a robocall from a company in one of the following types of industries and you did not have an account with this company, you may have a legal claim for compensation:
- Banks and mortgage lenders
- Cable/Internet companies
- Credit card companies
- Cruise companies
- Hospitals/medical/insurance companies
- Restaurant groups
- Student loan companies
Fill out the form on this page now for a FREE case evaluation to see if you have a case.
Important: Do NOT delete your caller ID record or text messages. You will need these messages and phone records as proof that a company illegally contacted you in violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act.
TCPA Violations: What’s Illegal Under the Law?
Unless you have provided prior express consent to be contacted, the Telephone Consumer Protection Act generally prohibits the following:
- Calls placed to residences before 8 am or after 9 pm, local time.
- Calling consumers who specifically asked the company not to call them (companies must maintain and honor an internal “do-not-call” list for 5 years).
- Calling consumers placed on the National Do Not Call Registry.
- Failing to identify the person or entity on whose behalf the call is being made, and providing a telephone number or address at which that person or entity may be contacted.
- Using an artificial voice or a recorded message.
- Using an automated dialing machine to place the call.
- Sending unsolicited advertising faxes.
In the event of a TCPA violation, a consumer may sue for up to $1,500 for each violation or to recover actual monetary loss, whichever is higher. If you believe you’re the victim of a TCPA violation, fill out the form on this page now for a free, no-obligation review of your potential case.
What is a Robocall?
A robocall is any phone call made using an automatic dialing system (equipment or computer software that dials phone numbers without human intervention) or that contains a pre-recorded message or artificial voice.
Even if a live person is on the line, the call may have been made using an autodialer. You can often tell that a call has been placed with an autodialer if you notice an immediate hang-up sound or there is a period of “dead air” before the live person comes on the line.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC), which enforces the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, has interpreted robocalls to include SMS text messages.
What is Prior Express Consent?
In order for a company to place a robocall, they must first have “prior express consent.” Under old TCPA rules, the FCC interpreted this to include oral approval or implied approval to receive calls, such as by providing your phone number to the company when purchasing a product or service.
As of Oct. 16, 2013, however, this “established business relationship” exemption no longer applies. The FCC’s new interpretation of prior express consent now requires a signed, written agreement, specifically agreeing to receive telemarketing calls or text messages via an autodialer and/or pre-recorded voice. This rule does not apply to debt collection calls or texts unless they contain any sort of advertisement or marketing material.
How Do I Document Evidence of TCPA Violations?
It is extremely difficult, if not impossible, to sue a company for TCPA violations if you do not know who the company is or how to contact them. Before attempting to file a TCPA lawsuit or class action lawsuit, you should take the following steps to document violations:
- Do not delete your caller ID record.
- Save all voice messages and text messages.
- Make a written record of the calls/text messages you are receiving, including the date and time of the call, the caller’s identity, and summary of the conversation or message.
- Keep a copy of any written requests to revoke your consent to receive calls.
How to File a TCPA Lawsuit or Class Action Lawsuit
Don’t be a victim of cell phone harassment. You may have a case to file a TCPA class action lawsuit and recover damages for TCPA violations and a permanent injunction against the company unlawfully contacting you.
Get a FREE legal review of your claims by filling out the form on this page now!
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