TCPA and Robocalls: Is Your Cellphone Protected?
Do you receive unwanted calls to your cellphone? It is important to know that consumers are protected by the TCPA act to stop aggressive robocallers from harassing people in Florida and across the United States.
The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) regulates auto-dialed calls, telemarketing calls, prerecorded calls, unsolicited faxes, and text messages. The Federal Communications Commission oversees the TCPA compliance and details strict penalties for TCPA violations.
Did you know that penalties for each violation/call can amount to $500-$1,500?
These severe penalties exist for a reason — to stop the harassing behavior of telephone solicitors and bullying bill collectors. But many companies get away with violations because consumers are not adequately informed of their rights. Consumer rights lawyers fight hard for the rights of people that are the subject of TCPA violations.
Understanding TCPA Violations
Banks, student loan companies, bill collectors, and solicitors of all sorts have rules they are legally required to follow under the TCPA. There are certain times they are allowed to call — and certain times they can’t. If they call outside of these designated times, they may be in violation of the TCPA.
A violation occurs if these TCPA guidelines are not followed:
- Calling cellphones before 8 am or after 9 pm local time;
- Calling cellphones using a recording or an artificial voice;
- Failing to honor the “Do Not Call” Registry and keep an updated company list;
- Requiring solicitors to provide their name, who they are calling for and provide contact information
In addition, after an update made to the act in 2013, all companies have to have “prior express written consent” to make or send auto-dialed calls, or pre-recorded calls to a wireless number for advertising or telemarketing purposes.
Unfortunately, many bullying robocallers violate these guidelines. If this has happened to you, it is important to contact a consumer rights attorney to hold them accountable and stop the unlawful harassment.
Exceptions under the TCPA
There are certain types of calls to your cellphone that are exempt from the guidelines of the TCPA. These are lawful and not subject to penalties. These include calls that are:
- Manually dialed without a pre-recorded message
- Not made for commercial purposes
- Made for commercial use but does not constitute telemarketing or include advertising
- Made by a tax-exempt or nonprofit organization
- Delivering a “health care” message by entities and professionals covered HIPAA Privacy Rule
If you have received these calls, they are not considered violations of the TCPA.
Securing Your Rights as a Consumer
More than a billion robocalls happen every day. If you have been the subject of robocalls that are a violation of the TCPA act, Wenzel Fenton Cabassa, P.A. can help. We work aggressively with each case to fight for justice, stop harassment, and hold TCPA violators accountable to the fullest extent of the law. You may be entitled to up to $1,500 per call.
Any documentation you have including phone records and voicemails all serve as potential evidence for your case. Keeping as detailed a written record as possible of who you talked to, when the call occurred, and what you talked about will help with documenting the violation(s).
Contact Wenzel Fenton Cabassa, P.A. to set up a free, confidential consultation. We understand the difficulty of dealing with robocalls and have the best interest of you and your family in mind.