We all receive unwanted telemarketing calls and/or text messages on our cell phones, sometimes on a regular basis. Did you know that this could be illegal and there might be something you can do about it? The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”) prohibits businesses from advertising through unsolicited text messages or unwanted phone calls to your cellular phone. These phone calls and messages are sometimes called “robo calls,” “mobile spam,” or “spam text.” The TCPA allows private actions by persons subjected to the prohibited conduct, generally $500.00 per unsolicited call/text and up to $1,500.00 per unsolicited call/text if you can prove that the violation was “willful.” Telemarketers are required to state the name of the companies they represent, the product’s description, and the costs. They must also disclose their telephone numbers and names through customers’ caller ID services.
The following is a list of things that telemarketers CANNOT do:
- Make sales calls before 8:00 A.M. or after 9:00 P.M.
- Call people placed on the National Do Not Call Registry or on companies’ internal Do Not Call lists.
- Use an automated system to call or send text messages to a cell phone.
- Use recorded messages for telemarketing to people who do not have an established business relationship with the company.
What Should You Do?
- Always save the message so that it can be used as evidence;
- Write down the telephone number and name of the company;
- Call Falls Legal and tell us what happened.
In January 2017, a North Carolina jury handed down a $20 million dollar verdict against Dish Network in a class action filed by individuals who had received telemarketing calls on their cell phones, despite being on the National Do Not Call list. This shows the high level of frustration members of the public feel about receiving these calls on their cell phones. If you have further questions about the TCPA or want to talk about your situation with a lawyer, call Falls Legal and we will be glad to help.