The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) is a powerful consumer rights statute that restricts how others can contact you for commercial reasons, such as selling products, or collecting debts. The TCPA was enacted to recognize that calls to your home or cell phone, are invasive, intrusive, and often can cost money, such as with a cell phone plan, where you pay for minutes used.
One of the biggest goals of the TCPA, is to stop or minimize the calls of telemarketers. That includes any company that calls you to sell a product or service, that you didn’t give permission to call. It also includes prohibiting calls to you if you are on the “do not call” list, use of pre-recorded messages (“robocalls”), and in some cases, the TCPA also prohibits debt collectors from using your cell phone.
The TCPA Provides Powerful Remedies
Of all consumer statutes, the TCPA is perhaps one of the most consumer-friendly. Under the TCPA, each and every call that violates the law, allows the consumer to make a claim for damages.
The TCPA allows consumers to recover between $500-$1500 per call. So, for example, 10 calls could amount to $5,000-$15,000 in damages. The difference in the amount depends on whether the company calling acted willfully or knowingly.
The TCPA Has No Minimum Call Limit For Calls To Cells
Even the first call triggers liability under the TCPA for calls to cell phones. Telemarketers don’t get a “free call,” before being liable, and there is no obligation that you warn them or give them a notice period to stop calling you before filing suit. For calls to your residential lines that are on the do not call list, a claim under the TCPA arises if you get two calls in a 12 month period.
Realistically, most consumers may have multiple calls that violate the TCPA by the time they are so fed up that they seek legal help. And if a telemarketer has called repeatedly, especially after a consumer’s request not to call or use their cell phone, it is strong evidence that the telemarketer’s behavior is willful, allowing the enhanced amount of $1,500 per call to be recovered.
If you think that you’re getting unwanted calls from telemarketers or debt collectors on your home or cell phone, talk to attorneys that understand how to enforce your rights. The consumer rights attorneys at Keogh Law can help you fight back against these common marketing and debt collection abuses. Contact us today at 866-726-1092.