Whether it be debt collection calls or a barrage of marketing text messages, businesses are generating an increasingly large number of communications for fractional costs, thanks to technologies like auto-dialers. Fortunately, the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”) and various state counterpart laws like Florida’s FTSA and North Carolina’s Telephone Solicitation chapter have been enacted to curb these practices by prohibiting certain types of calls to consumers.
The TCPA prohibits auto-dialed calls and prerecorded messages to cellular telephones that are made without the consumer’s consent. Telemarketers are required to obtain written consent before placing certain calls. The TCPA applies to both telephone calls as well as to text messages that are sent to cell phones. All telemarketing calls to a cell phone whether prerecorded or auto-dialed are prohibited without your express written consent. At any time, you may revoke your consent and the marketer is required to put you on their own internal do not call list.
The TCPA provides consumers with a powerful means of legal recourse to these violating calls. Consumers may file a lawsuit for each violation of the act. You may be able to recover $500 for each call, fax or text which violates the TCPA. These amounts can be tripled to $1,500 if the call was a willful violation of the law. Each state counterpart law has comparable damages to the federal TCPA. If you are receiving calls or texts in violation of the TCPA, you should keep a written record of the contact and tell the caller to stop. A best practice is to take a screenshot of the call or text. Finally, register your phone on the state and federal Do Not Call lists.
Marcus & Zelman has a wealth of experience representing people who have received unwanted class and texts nationwide, and we are here to help you assess any potential lawsuits you may be able to bring.