Many consumers have experienced seemingly endless robocalls and spam calls on their phones. Consumers may not be aware that there are regulations to prevent this type of contact.
Telephone Consumer Protection Act
The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) restricts telemarketer calls, the use of automatic dialing systems and the use of pre-recorded voice messages. It also requires telemarketers to obtain prior, written consent from consumers before robocalling them and they must provide consumers with an opt-out option. It also offers consumers the ability to sign up for a do not call registry, which prevents telemarketers from contacting them.
Despite these requirements, debt collectors and credit companies may still try to contact consumers by repeatedly calling them or using automatic dialing. There are penalties for violations of the TCPA and consumers may be entitled to file a claim if they are affected.
Penalties for violations
If a telemarketer or a debt collection agency violates the TCPA, they can face fines. Currently, they can be fined up to $500 for a standard violation and up to $1,500 per violation for knowing or willful conduct.
If they violate the do not call registry requirements, they can be fined more than $40,000 per incident. However, the TCPA also allows for unlimited statutory damages. They can also be assessed multiple fines per phone call, depending on how many provisions of the TCPA the call violates.
An experienced consumer protection attorney can help individuals pursue a claim. Consumers have a right to be free from harassment.