Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA)
Congress enacted the Telephone Consumer Protection Act in 1991 to restrict telemarketing and the use of automated equipment that places calls by phone (autodialers and robocalls) or sends unsolicited faxes for commercial reasons.
The most well-known provision of the TCPA is the National Do Not Call Registry. Adding your phone number to this registry – with a phone call or through the website – stops most telemarketers from calling.
In 2012 the TCPA was updated to make rules adopted by the Federal Trade Commission and the Federal Communications Commission agree with each other. The 2012 TCPA Order also provides that a business must have a consumer’s written consent to receive a prerecorded telemarketing call on a residential (land) line or wireless number (cell phone).
In general the TCPA says that “no person or entity” may:
- Initiate any telephone call using an automatic telephone dialing system or an artificial or prerecorded voice.
- Initiate or cause to be initiated any telephone call that includes or introduces an advertisement or constitutes telemarketing using an automatic telephone dialing system or an artificial or prerecorded voice.
Many organizations try to get around the rule by claiming to conduct surveys or provide useful information and by declaring that their calls are not solicitations.
The TCPA says artificial or prerecorded voice telephone messages that are allowable must:
- State clearly at the beginning of the message the identity of the business, individual,
or other entity that is responsible for initiating the call.
- Provide on telemarketing calls an automated, interactive voice- and/or key press-activated opt-out mechanism for making a do-not-call request, including instructions, within two seconds of providing the identification above.
If you can show that a business has placed an automated call to you that violates the TCPA, a court may award you up to $1,500 per violation.
If you have placed your phone number on the National Do Not Call Registry and can demonstrate in a legal claim that you have received more than one telephone call within a 12-month period from or on behalf of the same entity – for instance, a debt collector – a court may award you compensation for your losses or as much as $500 per violation – whichever is more.
Most people just want the calls to stop.
The Florida Debt Fighters of Disparti Fowkes & Hasanbasic, PLLC can help you with that. We can also help you obtain the compensation the law says you deserve if you have been harassed by telemarketers or similar automated telephone calls. We help Florida residents just like you make harassing telephone calls stop – once and for all.
To discuss your case, contact us today.