Telephone Consumer Protection Act
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How to Use TCPA Against Any Company and Potentially Collect $500-$1,500 Per Violation
With the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) issued rules and regulations concerning autodialing, auto text messaging, telemarketing, faxing, and using prerecorded messages.
This act means collection agencies, creditors, telemarketers and all companies have many more rules about how they can call you.
You have the law behind you when you are dealing with harassing creditors or collectors. Know your rights.
The Strict Rules of the TCPA
Some of the most important rules that were enacted by the Telephone Consumer Protection Act include:
- Auto-dialers CANNOT call emergency lines, hospital guest rooms, heath-care facilities or retirement homes
- Auto-dialers CANNOT call your cell phone without prior written consent
- Auto-dialers CANNOT text your cell phone without prior written consent
- Each company must keep their own Do Not Call (DNC) list. When a consumer requests to not be contacted again, that company MUST add them to their DNC list. This is supposed to ensure the consumer never receives another call from that company.
- Each company must regularly “scrub” any call lists against all ‘Do Not Call’ lists to make sure they do not violate this rule.
- Each company must have a detailed description of call procedures and have training programs in place for their employees so they all know the rules of the TCPA
- Solicitors must provide full and prompt disclosure about who they are and why they’re calling
New TCPA Rules for Creditors, Collectors and Corporations
The rules of the phone act are constantly evolving. Here are some recent additions to the law:
- Before any type of soliciting call is made, prior written consent required. This consent can be obtained through you checking an “authorized to contact” box on an online form.
- A past business relationship with the consumer is no longer a viable way to circumvent the written requirement.
What to Do If a Company Violates the Do Not Call List or Other TCPA Rules
If a consumer is contacted in violation of the statutes of the law, damages can result in anywhere from $500-$1,500 per violation.
So, if a company calls you twice after you’ve requested to be on their DNC list, you may be able to sue them for $500-$1,500 for each of those two calls that were in violation of TCPA.
If you believe a company has violated this phone spam prevention act, call 877-735-8600 to talk to us about your rights.
Many people have successfully sued for damages and won settlements. You could be next.
Who Must Adhere to These TCPA Rules?
Debt collection companies and creditors call consumers for commercial purposes. These are the calls you receive at home, work or on your cell phone where a company is attempting to offer you products or services.
One important note: the TCPA does not affect calls that occur for informational or verification purposes (such as the phone company calling you to inform you that power is out, or your bank calling to make sure you authorized a payment on your account).
An auto-dialer phone call is where there is a live person or a prerecorded message or text using a call software or automatic dialing system. You can often tell that an auto-dialer is being used if you hear a brief pause before the person on the other end responds.
This system stores and calls phone numbers in a sequential or randomized order.
Robo-calling is another form of autodialing where prerecorded messages are used to contact you or live people are calling you.
Debt Collectors, Creditors and Marketing Companies
Under the TCPA, debt collection agencies are not allowed to call you on your mobile phone using an auto dialer or pre-recorded message. In addition, they cannot auto-text you. This also includes creditors and any company reaching out to you.
That last part about auto dialers and recorder messages is important. Debt collectors and creditors are allowed to call your cell phone if they manually dial your number and have a human on the other end.
There have been challenges to TCPA about whether debt collectors have to stick to other TCPA rules.
If debt collectors have been calling you at all hours or harassing you in other ways, you may be able to fight back citing the TCPA. Ask an attorney about your options.
Someone Calling You And Not Sticking to the Rules?
Not all companies are sticking to the rules like they should.
If a company has been calling you and violating any of these rules, you can file a complaint and possibly receive compensation.
Call us today to see if you can get compensation for this illegal phone harassment. We can help you when dealing with violations concerning collectors, creditors and/or solicitors.
How to Get on the National Do Not Call List
The U.S. government has created a national DNC list and it’s easy to get on it.
You can add your home number and your cell phone to this list.
Call 1-888-382-1222 to get on it or sign up at https://www.donotcall.gov/.
If a seller or marketer calls you after you’ve been on the DNC list for at least 31 days, you may be able to file a complaint against them.