Last year, Americans received roughly 48 billion robocalls.
That comes out to about 7 calls for every person on earth
But it’s not like all those calls are portioned out evenly. Some people get more calls than others. And if you’re one of those people, you’re likely fed up with unwanted calls from telemarketers. More than anything, you want to know how to stop robocalls from negatively affecting your life.
It can be done. Telemarketers need to follow the law, and when they step outside the boundaries of that law, they open themselves up to legal action. Here’s what you need to know about how to stop robocalls.
The Telephone Consumer Protection Act: How are consumers protected against robocalls?
The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) bars telemarketers, lenders and collectors from harassing customers through the use of auto-dialer systems, or robocalls.
The law was created in 1991 but has been evolving ever since, essentially giving consumers a blueprint for how to stop unwanted robocalls.
In addition to the rules limiting automatic dialing systems, it also puts limits on fax machines, text messages and pre-recorded messages. Finally, it requires the caller to identify the company who is placing the call.
If these companies violate the TCPA while doing business, they open themselves to a lawsuit that can be filed by the consumer. Some TCPA violations can include:
- Constant calls without your authorization
- Contacting consumers before 8:00 in the morning or after 9:00 at night
- Contacting you at work without your permission
- Not properly identifying the name of the company.
The TCPA provides for consumers to receive between $500 to $1500 for each violating phone call.
Companies need permission to make robocalls
Whether it’s a debt collector, lender or telemarketer, businesses must get your consent before they call your cellphone using a robo-dialer or an automated dialing system.
Your consent may already be implied if you gave your number on a credit application or other business-related paperwork.
But just as consent must be given, it can also be taken away. Consumers have the right to revoke their permission to be contacted by cell phone or text message.
If you’d like to retract your permission, you must contact the caller and let them know they no longer have your consent to contact you. Sending a letter with your request may be most effective, as you will have written proof that your request was made.
Courts have held that consumers have the right to block unwanted robocalls. One such case was Gager vs. Dell Financial Services, upheld by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit in Philadelphia, ruling that the TCPA allows for consumers to revoke consent implied through the process of credit applications. This ruling set precedent for dozens of other courts around the country.
Make a Record
Let’s say that you’ve written your letter to revoke your consent, but the telemarketer, lender, or debt collector keeps calling.
If that’s the case, you need to begin documenting their calls. Create a call log listing date, time of day and caller ID #. Hold onto your cell phone records and identify unwanted calls made to your cell phone.
When calls keep up after you’ve asked them to stop, this is where you can take action and possibly bring a lawsuit against the caller.
If you’re fed up with unwanted calls, turn to the attorneys of Flitter Milz. Our lawyers have spent years fighting TCPA law violations and have helped numerous Pennsylvania and New Jersey residents defend their rights against aggressive telemarketers, lenders and debt collectors. Contact us today to learn how we can help you seek justice.