What Is The Telephone Consumer Protection Act And How Does It Impact Consumers?

Telephone Consumer Protection Act

At The Law Office of Michael A. Ziegler, PL we know that the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) prohibits a company from using an automatic telephone dialing system to call a consumer on their cell phone, if that consumer has not given the company permission to do so. This also applies to consumers who have discontinued their permission to receive those calls, which we call “revoked consent.”

What Kind Of Harassment Would Warrant Suing The Telemarketing Company?
If someone is being called several times a day, it may warrant a Telephone Consumer Protection Act claim. A lot of times the calls are in very close proximity to one another, and may come from different phone numbers even though they are originating from the same company.

More often than not, the folks that receive these calls have debts that they are behind on paying. The companies who make these calls often are intentionally trying to encourage an emotional or frustrated response from the consumer to get their attention.

What Do I Actually Get After Suing A Telemarketing Company?
First, just to preface this, companies that use automatic dialers often don’t have the image of a telemarketing company. Instead, they have the same image as a generic collection company. People that are found to qualify for violations under this legal set can be awarded between $500 and $1,500 for each improper call. In some instances, people that are impacted by these automatic calls may receive hundreds of calls when the company does not have permission.

In general, a consumer qualifies for compensation under that calculation of $500 to $1,500 per call, regardless of whether or not they answer the call. If you are pestered by such phone calls on a daily basis, then it’s time to contact The Law Office of Michael A. Ziegler, PL.

What Steps Do I Need To Take If I Want To Sue A Telemarketing Company?
If a person feels that they have experienced a violation of these cell phone privacy laws, they should first contact an attorney who focuses on these laws. This might sound self-serving, but the truth is that these are complicated legal areas, and the companies who violate these laws are savvy in terms of what they can and cannot do. They also know how to protect themselves in the event that they violate the law. If a consumer risks pursuing a case like this on their own, they should be mindful of the proverb that 100% of nothing is nothing. Given the sophistication of the defendants, they would be well-served to have experienced counsel who are knowledgeable about the Telephone Consumer Protection Act. You can read more in our “If I Want To Sue A Telemarketing Company” blog post.

How Do I Know If I Should Hire An Attorney To Sue A Telemarketing Company?
Any case worth filing is case worth having an attorney on. So, if there are fewer than 10 calls, and if it’s not a case that qualifies for having an attorney, it probably shouldn’t be filed. If there are only one, two, or three calls, then admittedly it could be hard to find an attorney that would take that case. This is because the damages just don’t warrant litigation.

What To Know About Robocall Law

Telemarketing is an age-old process, and can be great for recipients who are genuinely interested in hearing what they have to say. However, these calls can sometimes turn into harassment, and oftentimes they may even be illegal, meaning you can receive financial compensation for damages done. In the legal world, this is known as robocall law. Here is some information to help you learn more: 

What Constitutes as a Robocall?

Simply put, robocalls are phone calls that are made using an autodialer and sometimes an automated phone message. Depending on how these robocalls are used, they may violate a person’s rights under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act.

How Will I Know if I Receive a Robocall?

The telltale sign of a robocall is being greeted by an automated phone message as soon as you answer the phone, most likely even before you say hello. Or, you may hear a long pause of dead air where no one is on the phone after you answer, then a live person greets you. This tends to happen when a company uses an autodialer and still has a person speak to you. In both cases, the calls can be illegal.

Why Are Robocalls Illegal?

There is a Telephone Consumer Protection Act that is meant to protect phone owners rights to privacy. Under this act, there are strict regulations concerning using auto dialers and contacting a recipient without their expressed consent. 

What Are the Rules and Regulations for Robocalls?

As an attorney at The Law Offices of Michael A. Zielger may tell you, there are three primary regulations companies must follow if they are to robocall individuals:

  1. Expressed written consent. This must be given by the recipient of the call in the form of an e-document online and it clearly shows that the individual agrees to getting these types of phone calls.
  2. An opt-out feature. On any robocall, the telemarketer must include an opt-out feature that allows the recipient to stop any calls moving forward.
  3. State personal identity. Each robocall must accurately state the name, address, and phone number of the recipient at the beginning of each call.

If one, or all three, of these regulations are not met, you may be able to take legal action with help from our legal team. 

Do Text Messages Count as Robocalls Under the TCPA?

Yes! You do not have to actually be called to fall under robocall law. If you are receiving unsolicited text messages and voicemails, you can be eligible for the same protection from the TCPA. It is important to note that the rules don’t differ if the calls and texts are coming to your cellphone or your home number. Additionally, the same rules go into effect if you are receiving repeated hangups to your phone.

Can I Sue the Telemarketer?

If you have accurate data that the robocalls do not follow the above requirements, it is possible to take legal action. This can be against the telemarketer, or even the agencies behind the phone calls, like credit card companies, insurance agencies, retailers, and student loan companies. As stated above, under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, you can receive up to $500 per illegal robocall, and $1,500 per each robocall that was made willfully.

You deserve to be protected and at peace when on the phone, so if you are constantly contacted by robocalls, don’t hesitate to speak to a member of our team today.

Additional Information On Telemarketing Harassment In Florida
It should be emphasized that even if someone has an existing relationship with a company- whether it’s their credit card company or the mortgage company- they can still, at least within our jurisdiction, tell that company that they no longer want to be called on their cell phone, and the law says that that request has to be honored.

If you are looking for how to Sue A Telemarketing Company, or other information on legal topics you can find it on our blog.

For more information on the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, get the information and legal answers you are seeking from The Law Office of Michael. A. Ziegler, PL by calling (727) 538-4188 today.

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