Most of us have received a robocall to our cell phone at some point in time. These calls are annoying and inconvenient, especially if they start occur frequently.
Congress passed initial Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) legislation back in 1991, and has been refining the ruling ever since. The law limits the use of automatic dialing systems, artificial or pre-recorded voice messages, SMS text messages, and fax machines. It also requires the caller to be identified in the message.
Robocalls Require Permission
Telemarketers, lenders, and debt collectors must get your permission before contacting you on your cell phone by use of a robo-dialer or automated voice dialing system. If you provided a cell phone number on a credit application or elsewhere, consent to call that number may be implied.
You Can Revoke Your Consent
You have the right to revoke permission for calls to your cellphone. If you want to stop robocalls, you need to contact the caller and inform them that they no longer have your consent. It is most effective to handle this request in writing.
In Gager v. Dell Financial Services, the first case of its kind, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit in Philadelphia, PA agreed that consumers may block annoying robocalls to their cell phones, and if permission had been given, that permission can be revoked.
Under the TCPA, consumers can revoke any alleged consent implied through the application for credit. Dell Financial’s further efforts to have the appeals court reconsider its ruling were rejected – a true win for the consumer.
Document the Calls
If a telemarketer, lender, or debt collector continues to call your cell phone after you have revoked consent, it is important to document the calls in a call log. Make note of the date, time of day, name of caller, name of company, Caller ID and details of the conversation or phone message.
Gather Cell Phone Records
You should also gather your cell phone records from the time period when calls were received. Review the records and identify robocalls that were placed to your cell phone.
Seek Legal Help
If you continue to receive calls on your cell phone after requesting they stop, you may be able to bring a lawsuit against the caller. The TCPA permits consumers to recover $500 – $1500 for each call placed by the telemarketer, lender, or debt collector after they’ve been told to stop.
Flitter Milz is a nationally recognized consumer protection law firm that represents victims of harassing robocalls placed to cell phones. Contact Us for a free legal evaluation.