Telephone Consumer Protection Act - Use of Auto Dialers

Have you been subjected to “robocalls,” “robotexts” or other annoying calls on your cell phone from telemarketers or debt collectors? If so, you could be entitled to damages under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”).

Robocalls are automated phone calls using “auto dialers.” An auto dialer is a type of computerized equipment that dials phone numbers without human intervention. If a phone call involves a pre-recorded message, it was almost certainly made with an auto dialer. If a phone call begins with a noticeable period of “dead air” before a live person begins speaking to you, it was also probably made with an auto dialer. Unless you provided the company calling your number with express written consent to call you, the call violated your rights under the TCPA.

The TCPA also prohibits telemarketers and debt collectors from calling you with an auto dialer before 8:00 a.m. or after 9:00 p.m. Calls using an auto dialer must also disclose certain information, including the caller’s name, the business entity for which the call is being made, and a telephone number or address at which the caller can be reached.

The TCPA also prohibits telemarketers from calling you if you have listed your phone number on the Do-Not-Call registry.

To help an attorney prove that your rights under the TCPA you should:

  • Save the phone records;
  • Make a separate record of the date, time, and caller’s identity (or phone number); and
  • Save a written copy of any relevant revocation of consent for the call (if any).

The TCPA allows any person whose rights have been violated to sue for up to $500 for each improper call (or text) received, or for up to $1,500 for each “willfully” improper call (or text).

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