UNDERSTANDING THE TELEPHONE CONSUMER PROTECTION ACT
If you receive robocalls on a regular basis, you may be wondering if there is anything you can do to prevent them. The Telephone Consumer Protection Act TCPA, however, was designed to do just that. If you are sick of receiving constant unwanted calls from telemarketers or debt collectors, keep reading to learn more about the TCPA.
What Types of Calls Are Included in the Act?
The types of calls included in the TCPA are telemarking calls, auto-dialed calls, pre-recorded calls, and text messages. This act also created the National Do Not Call Registry. In general, the act is designed to give you an option to block robocalls, and it puts strict limitations on robocalls, especially robocalls to cellphones.
This act even protects you in the event of unwanted credit collection calls. However, it only covers calls to your cellphone, and you must have never given oral or written consent that the lender could call you. Calls that are exempt from the act include robocalls to wireless phones, calls made for research purposes, and calls designed to alert you of fraud.
What Are the Other Rules of the Act?
The act also created a few more rules to protect people from robocalls and potential scams. First, it prohibits callers from calling before 8 am and after 9 pm. Telemarketers are also prohibited from sending unsolicited fax messages.
If you do answer the call, however, the act protects you further. If a telemarketer or debt collector calls, they cannot refuse to give you their name, organization for which they are calling, and the contact information. In fact, they are supposed to give you their name and the business for which they are calling at the start of the call, and they must provide the address and phone number of the company within the call.
Can You Opt-Out of Calls?
You can also opt out of receiving calls. One way to do this is directly contact the telemarketer, debt collector, etc. In fact, the TCPA requires callers to announce that you can opt out and provide it as an option during the call. If you’ve already given consent for the robocalls, you can revoke that permission, but you must write a new letter.
Another way to opt out of all telemarketing calls is to add your number to the National Do Not Call Registry. Here, you can add your phone number on the list, and telemarketers are supposed to check the list before calling. Of course, some don’t bother to check the list, so you can also report unwanted calls to the National Do Not Call Registry.
What Can You Do If The Calls Don’t Stop?
If you have tried to get a telemarketer or debt collector to stop robocalling you but they refuse to comply, you can file a lawsuit against the company. In most cases, you can get reimbursed for $500 and $1,500 per unwanted call. In the event of class-action lawsuits against telemarketers, the settlement can reach millions. In some cases, the FTC and FCC may bring actions against telemarketers for TCPA violations.
In addition, each call can have multiple violations. For example, a telemarketer calls you despite your number being listed on the National Do Not Call registry (violation one). When you ask for their name and business, they don’t provide it (violation two).
Telemarketers and debt collectors can be annoying, especially when they inappropriately call your mobile phone. If you are sick of getting these types of calls, and you’ve already opted out, it may be time to seek legal action. If you would like to learn more, or if you want to talk to one of our skilled attorneys, contact us at Heidarpour Law Firm today.