The federal government prohibits businesses from making live or prerecorded phone call advertisements to cellular phones. The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), 47 USC §227, provides a statutory fine for unsolicited phone call advertisements.
These advertisements are harassing and can cost the victim:
- Cellular phone plan minutes; and
- Overcharges through their cellular phone providers.
Congress recognized this harassing practice and provides citizens a private right of action to bring a lawsuit to stop these activities.
Contact an experienced attorney now to report a violation of the TCPA.
The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA)
The TCPA allows private actions by persons subjected to the prohibited conduct and authorizes recovery of up to $500 per violation or $1,500 if the violation was willful or knowing.
The TCPA makes it illegal for advertisers to send texts or make calls using an automatic telephone dialing system or artificial or prerecorded voices to cellular phones without the prior express written consent of the recipient.
47 USC §227
(B) Restrictions on the use of automated telephone equipment
It shall be unlawful for any person within the United States, or any person outside of the United States if the recipient is within the United States (A) to make any call (other than a call for emergency purposes or made within the prior express consent of the called party) using any automatic telephone dialing system or an artificial or prerecorded voice (iii) to any telephone number assigned to a paging service, cellular telephone service, specialized mobile radio service, or other radio common carrier service, or any service for which the called party is charged for the call.
Debt Collection Calls to Wrong Numbers
Have you received a telephone call to your cell phone from a debt collector, but you do not owe the debt? The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) applies to debt collection calls. It is illegal for debt collectors to use an automated telephone dialing system (ATDS) to call seeking to collect a debt to anyone other than the person who gave his or her cell phone number as part of the loan process.
Often, debt collectors will call persons with the same or similar name to the actual debtor. For example, there may be several Bill Smiths in a certain community, only one of which is the true debtor. The debt collection company, however, may call all persons by that name at any number they can find seeking to collect the debt. This activity is a violation of the TCPA and can result in damages.
Accordingly, if you are receiving debt collection calls made to your cellular telephone in error, and you are not the person who owes the debt, you may have a claim for damages under the TCPA.
The TCPA, implemented by Congress to regulate telemarketing calls, provides damages per phone call.
Call the TCPA debt collection robo-call lawyers at Bohrer Brady LLC for a free, confidential consultation to determine if you have a claim for damages for receiving unwanted debt collection calls made to your cell or wireless telephone number in error.
New Rulings Strengthen Consumer Protection Under the TCPA
The FCC recently voted to issue several new declaratory rulings that strengthen the law that protect consumers against unwanted robocalls and spam texts. These rulings interpreted the TCPA to impose stronger restrictions on spammers and debt collectors who place robocalls and transmit text message advertisements.
According to the FCC, an autodialer is any technology that has the capacity to dial random or sequential numbers, ensuring that robocallers cannot skirt consumer consent requirements through changes in calling technology design or by calling from a list of numbers. This means that almost any system used by telemarketers or debt collectors that has the capacity to dial numbers randomly or in order qualifies as an autodialers. Companies cannot use auto dialers to make robocalls, wireless calls, cell phone calls, or texts.
The FCC also confirmed that telemarketers and debt collection companies must have prior express written consent from a consumer in order to use an auto dialing system to place robocalls, wireless calls, cell calls or texts.
If you have received a phone call from a telemarketer or company advertising goods or services on your wireless cell phone, and you have not provided your express written consent, then your receipt of such call or text possibly violates the TCPA. Under the TCPA, you could be entitled to damages per call.
TCPA claims can be filed as a Consumer Class Action
If you have received an unwanted phone call advertisement on your cellular phone, tell us about it. Your claim may be the basis for a consumer class action lawsuit. Our consumer class action lawyers can help you understand your rights. You do not have to face a big company alone.
Contact us today if you have received any of the above calls.
What should you do if you receive an unwanted recorded advertisement?
- Save the message so that it can be used as evidence;
- Write down the telephone number;
- Call the recorded phone message class action attorneys at Bohrer Brady LLC for a free confidential legal consultation.