Back in 1991, when the Telephone Consumer Protection Act was first enacted, the main goal of the law was to protect consumers from unwanted, unsolicited, and even harassing phone calls and faxes from debt collectors and telemarketers. Since then, the law has been interpreted to encompass more modern communication methods, such as SMS messages
TCPA only Covers Unconsented Calls
If a consumer provided consent to call, fax, or text the phone number in question, there is no claim under the TCPA unless the consumer revoked consent. It is important to understand that the law differentiates between telemarketing calls and non-telemarketing calls to cellular telephones. Telemarking calls to cellular telephones must obtain signed “prior express written consent,” while generally other types must obtain “prior express consent.”
Determining Type of Contact
However, whether a company is making telemarketing calls may not always be black and white. In general, though, any phone call, or text message to a cellular telephone that presents some sort of promotion or advertisement, or otherwise encourages the consumer to purchase services, goods, or to invest in properties or vacation packages will most likely be considered a telemarketing attempt, which would require signed “prior express written consent.” Phone calls and text messages to a cellular telephone can be considered both promotional and informational will also most likely be considered telemarketing, requiring the caller to have obtained signed “prior express written consent.”
Understand that “prior express written consent” can mean that you put your phone number or fax number on some type of paperwork with that company. If you have provided your phone number to the company on an application for services, goods, or credit, for instance, that can be considered “express written consent,” especially if that application has small words at the bottom that stipulate that by signing the application, you give the company consent to contact you at that number. Although, it does not have to stipulate that specifically; by providing your phone number to the company in writing, you may have given them consent to contact you. Keep in mind that you do have the choice to withdraw your consent at any time.
Now that you understand these differences better, if you have received phone calls, text messages, or faxes that violate the TCPA, contact Keogh Law, Ltd. Our experienced TCPA lawyers have the experience that you will need to help you stop the unwanted phone calls, texts, or faxes and obtain the compensation you are entitled to. For one individual violation of the TCPA, a consumer can collect either $500 or $1500 for willful violations per call. Call us today for a free consultation at (866) 726-1092.