How many times a day do you get annoying telemarketing calls? It seems so commonplace, with most phone users receiving one or more calls per day. Estimates show that consumers receive anywhere from 20 robocalls per day to 20 calls per month. Regardless of the number of calls coming through, it can be frustrating to have a spam call interrupt your work or family time.
The important thing you need to know is that there are specific laws in place to protect consumers against harassment from telemarketers. The best thing you can do is know your rights so you can pursue legal action if the telemarketing companies are crossing any lines.
Yes, you have the opportunity to sue robocall companies if they are violating the laws. Continue reading to learn more about your rights and whether you should pursue legal action to ask for compensation.
Are Robocalls Legal?
Robocalls are the automated calls that come through using autodialers. If you pick up the call and hear a pre-recorded message, then it’s a robocall.
Additionally, autodialers are often used to automatically place the calls, with a live person on the other line when you pick up. You can tell that a live call was made using an autodialer because of the “dead air” or quiet time on the line between the moment you pick up and when the other person starts talking.
Telemarketing laws prohibit companies from using autodialers – any computer software or equipment that places calls without human intervention.
Strict Requirements for Cell Phone Telemarketing
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has strict requirements to protect consumers. If you are like many other consumers, you likely feel that all robocalls should be illegal. But there are still legal methods companies can use to place these calls.
If the calls meet any of these requirements, then it could be an illegal call:
- Written Consent: Telemarketers must have “express written consent” from each consumer agreeing to the phone calls. This consent is gained through something such as a signed form or even just checking a consent box embedded in a digital form. Often, this consent happens when a consumer submits their phone number when purchasing goods and services.
- Opt-Out Option: When a call comes through, the telemarketer must always provide the option for you to opt-out of the calls. This option must be available at the beginning of the message and on voice messages. For example, telemarketers should offer a toll-free number you can call to add your phone number to a do-not-call list.
- Caller Identification: Another legal requirement is that the caller must share his or her identity, as well as the name of the business. Additionally, they should provide the business address and phone number, either during the phone call or at the end of the message.
Most Robocalls Are Illegal
The truth is that most robocalls coming through are likely illegal. They are run through scam organizations. These scammers are often calling from overseas, mimicking US phone numbers using spoofing technology to show a US-based caller ID. A rerouting technique makes the calls look legitimate.
Additionally, many companies in the United States willfully violate the TCPA rules. These companies are prime opportunities for individual and class action lawsuits to claim compensation for the violations.
Telephone Consumer Protection Act: No Call Registry
The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (known as TCPA) is federal legislation – starting first in 1991, with two updates in 2003 and 2012.
Congress put restrictions on contacts, calls, solicitations, and communications. Part of this process was the creation of a “Do Not Call Registry” to assist individuals in stopping the telemarketing calls. You can sign up for the registry, and the telemarketers should stop calling. It’s a simple process:
- Report unwanted calls
- Verify your registration in the database
- Register your phone
The goal is to give you a choice about whether you would like to receive telemarketing calls. But if you are on the registry and the calls keep coming, then it might be time to talk to a lawyer and take action against the telemarketing company.
The first violation is free. When a telemarketing company turns into a repeat offender, you have the option to take them to court. Cash compensation can be $500 per call or as high as $1,500 per call if the court finds that they did it willfully.
Preparing Your Case
Even though telemarketers face legal action and fines for a rule violation, it hasn’t stopped the robocalls. The problem is that most consumers don’t take action when these violations are occurring. If you are receiving harassing telemarketing or robocalls, then you should learn more about your legal options.
Before you move forward with your claim, you need to prepare the proper documentation to show the violations. Start by logging the calls. Each time a robocall comes through, take note of the:
- Company Name
You must have thorough knowledge about the laws and your rights. Since most people don’t have a legal background, the simplest solution is to talk to a lawyer who can help you with the case.
Finally, when the case is ready, it is time to present the information to a judge in court. Some people choose a DIY approach in small claims court. The most effective solution is to hire a lawyer with experience in these types of claims.
Businesses You Can Sue for Robocalls
Who can you file a lawsuit against for robocall harassment? There are successful cases on record in all of the following industries:
- Sweepstakes companies
- Debt collectors
- Mortgage companies
- Student loan companies
- Credit card companies
- Finance companies
- Check cashing companies
While you have the option to file a DIY claim through small claims court, there are limits to the amount of compensation available. The ideal course of action is to talk to a knowledgeable attorney to build a solid case and maximize your monetary compensation.
Our legal team is here to assist if you need help with a robocalls case. We help people like you file a claim for compensation. Additionally, this process can stop the calls so you can get a break from the harassment. If you are tired of the robocalls, contact Shamieh Law to discuss your case and determine the best course of action.