The TCPA makes it easier for consumers to sue telemarketers, but there are certain prerequisites. Learn what you need to know about the law before suing a caller who’s bothering you.
TCPA is a telemarketing and robocall law that was passed by the FCC in 2009. It gives consumers the right to sue for unwanted calls. Read more in detail here: tcpa text messages.
The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) was passed in 1991 to protect consumers against unsolicited solicitations such robocalls, autodials, telemarketers, and intrusive text messages. In 1995, the legislation was challenged twice (Moser v. FCC and Destination Ventures Ltd. v. FCC), but both judges ruled it as constitutional.
Telemarketers must provide receivers with the option of opting out of receiving future calls.
The TCPA eventually generated a National Do Not Call Registry, which consumers may join to avoid being contacted by solicitors. Companies and solicitors must respect a consumer’s Do Not Call registration indefinitely as of 2007. (Previously, the period was five years.)
Other TCPA restrictions prohibit solicitors from calling between the hours of 8 a.m. and 9 p.m., from using autodialers, and from using fake recordings. Solicitors must reveal their name, phone number, address, and indicate on whose behalf they are phoning, according to the Telephone Consumer Protection Act. They must also provide receivers with the option to opt out of receiving future calls. Solicitors risk being sued for robocalling if they break these guidelines.
The TCPA expressly forbids businesses from utilizing autodialers to contact customers. An autodialer is any piece of hardware or software that automatically calls phone numbers without the need for human participation. Autodialer calls commonly result in hang-ups or long stretches of “dead air” before a real person answers the phone.
If you’ve been harassed by telemarketers or debt collectors, call us immediately away to learn about your rights and alternatives under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act.
A Quick Overview of the TCPA
The TCPA has undergone numerous significant revisions since its ratification 25 years ago, owing to the fact that it deals with telecommunications. The legislation and its revisions have also been challenged many times, but courts have always supported them (much to the satisfaction of consumers).
Here are a few of the TCPA’s many modifications and landmarks:
- In two important instances, Moser v. FCC and Ventures Ltd. v. FCC, the legality of the TCPA is affirmed.
- In accordance with the Do-Not-Call Implementation Act of 2003, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) established the National Do Not Call Registry. Telemarketers are barred from contacting registered customers for a period of five years from the date of registration.
- The CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 broadens the TCPA’s protection to encompass unsolicited emails.
- The Junk Fax Prevention Act of 2005 broadens the scope of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act to cover unsolicited faxes.
- The Do-Not-Call Improvement Act of 2007 extends the Do-Not-Call registration period from five to indefinite/permanent.
- 2009: The Ninth Circuit Court of California rules in Satterfield v. Simon & Schuster that the Telephone Consumer Protection Act also protects customers against unwanted text messages.
- 2014: Capital One and three collection agencies agree to pay $75.5 million to resolve a lawsuit arising from Capital One’s use of an autodialer to contact people’s cellphones. This is the biggest (but not the first) TCPA-related class action settlement ever.
TCPA Regulations on Political Robocalls
Political campaigns are subject to TCPA requirements as well, but there are certain exceptions, according to the FCC.
Landlines are allowed to receive robocalls, autodials, and prerecorded messages from political campaigns, as long as the caller identifies himself at the outset and provides the receiver the choice to opt out of future calls.
With three exceptions, these types of calls and texts are restricted on smartphones and other mobile devices:
(1) Calls made in the event of an emergency
(2) Calls made with the called party’s prior explicit permission
(3) Debts “due to or guaranteed by the United States” are the focus of these calls.
Failure to comply with the TCPA “may expose them to enforcement action, including monetary forfeitures as high as $16,000 per violation,” the FCC warned political robocallers.
TCPA Regulations by State
While the TCPA and similar statutes apply across the board in the United States, numerous states have enacted even tighter robocall legislation.
In Indiana, for example, all prepared robocalls are forbidden unless the recorded message is first played by a live operator.
Indiana is one of 14 states that prohibit politicians and political campaigns from using autodialers and robocalls. Wyoming and Arkansas have the strictest rules, completely prohibiting these calls. Meanwhile, North Carolina, Minnesota, Montana, and North Dakota, like Indiana, have rules requiring verbal agreement before playing a prerecorded message.
To see whether you’ve been a victim of illegal solicitation, check your state’s robocall rules. If this is the case, you may be due money.
Typical TCPA Infractions
As we all know, many businesses disregard the Telephone Consumer Protection Act and the National Do Not Call Registry. To the dismay of customers, they continue to engage in robocalling, autodialing, and other illegal actions. As a consequence, a slew of lawsuits have been filed against these corporations, with settlements ranging from hundreds to millions of dollars in certain situations.
Even if you get an unwelcome call from a human operator, it’s conceivable that the call was made using an autodialer. The call was almost probably made using an autodialer if you pick up the phone and are greeted with a prepared message.
This is also a violation of the TCPA if you get a robocall from a telemarketer on your smartphone and you never granted them explicit written approval (in the form of a written or electronic signature) to contact you. It’s also a violation if you tell a telemarketer or debt collector that they have the incorrect number and they continue to call you.
Robocallers are required to provide their names, phone numbers, and addresses.
Furthermore, whether a telemarketer speaks with the receiver or leaves a voicemail, the telemarketing must provide the recipient the choice to opt out of the calls. When answering a call, telemarketers must provide toll-free call-back numbers so that recipients can add their phone numbers to a do-not-call list, and when leaving voicemails, telemarketers must provide toll-free call-back numbers so that recipients can add their phone numbers to a do-not-call list.
Robocallers must also disclose information about themselves, such as their names, phone numbers, and addresses. They may face legal action if they break any of the aforementioned rules.
Suits filed under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA)
In August 2014, Capital One (together with three collection agencies) agreed to pay $75.5 million to resolve a class action lawsuit stemming from Capital One’s use of an autodialer to contact customers’ cellphones.
After using autodialers and prerecorded messages to attempt to collect on consumer credit card accounts between 2009 and 2014, Wells Fargo resolved a similar complaint for $14.5 million a few months later.
Other significant TCPA-related settlements include:
- Up to $76 million for Caribbean Cruise Line (Sep. 2016)
- Coachways in the United States: $49.9 million (Nov. 2016)
- $45 million for AT&T Mobility (Oct. 2014)
- HSBC has a capital of $40 million (Sep. 2014)
- $32 million: Bank of America (Sep. 2014)
- Midland has a credit line of $20.5 million (July 2016)
- $16.3 million Wells Fargo (July 2016)
- Life Time Fitness has a $15 million budget (Feb. 2015)
- $11 million for Walgreen’s (Mar. 2015)
- $11 million for Millward Brown (Mar. 2015)
Dish Network was sentenced to pay a $280 million penalty to the federal government and four states by U.S. District Judge Sue Myerscough in June 2017. According to the government’s study, Dish made 55 million illegal calls to customers.
Eligibility for TCPA Lawsuits and Compensation
Our lawyers may be able to assist you in filing a claim for compensation if you get unsolicited calls or texts from solicitors. To see whether you have a case, use our simple TCPA flowchart.
We help individuals who have been approached by a firm that is seeking for someone else, as well as persons who have been contacted after asking that a company cease contacting. A customer may be eligible to recover between $500 and $1,500 for each unwelcome call.
Contact us immediately for a free, no-obligation consultation if you have concerns regarding your rights under the TCPA.
The “tcpa requirements” is a law that was created to protect citizens from unwanted calls. This law has many different rules and regulations, which can be found on the FTC website. The FTC also provides information about suing for unwanted calls.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does TCPA apply to collection calls?
A: Yes, TCPA applies to collection calls.
Can I take legal action against robocalls?
A: That is a difficult question. There are many different laws and rules that can apply to your situation, so you should consult an attorney to find out the best course of action for you.
What is a TCPA violation?
A: TCPA stands for the Telephone Consumer Protection Act. This is a law that prohibits telephone companies from placing automated calls to you without your permission, and it also requires them to provide you with written notice of all such calls.
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