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The TCPA is a federal statute designed to stop the illegal use of automatic telephone dialing systems (“ATDS” or “robo-dialers”) and prerecorded messages. If any company is making calls to you without your “express permission” then you most likely are entitled to $1500 for each call they make!
The TCPA is a strict liability statute, meaning it requires courts to give a minimum of $500 for each illegal call and up to $1,500 for each call made to your phone in the last 4 years.
Most large banks, mortgage companies, student loan providers, financial corporations and debt collectors use numerous robo-dialers and frankly do not care less about your rights to privacy. They make so much money robo-calling millions of people everyday that the few million they are forced to pay consumers is a drop in the bucket compared to the profits they enjoy. More people should know about their rights not to be harassed and not to be robo-bullied but they don’t and this encourages more and more companies to be more and more abusive.
Unwanted robocalls are the Number One consumer complaint in America today. Some people know how to file complaints with the government but they simply don’t know their legal rights and they don’t know lawyers who specialize in this complex litigation. Everyone needs to know that even if they owe money to a company they have the absolute right to simply tell them to stop calling. If the company refuses to stop calling after asked to do so it is a clear violation for every call made. Most companies have little or no procedures to stop calling and the few companies that do have policies do not enforce them. This type of illegal conduct leads to the basis for the $1500 per call violation versus the minimum violation which is $500 per call. Another common violation is when a company is calling a phone despite never having express permission to do so, usually this happens when a phone number is reassigned or somebody lists a number of a friend or family on an application.
“Robocalls” are any calls made using an “automatic telephone dialing system” (ATDS). Some people think “robo-calls” must be a pre-recorded message or artificial voice but according to the law it is all calls made using auto-dialer technology. Text messages are also considered a “call” and carry the same penalties of a minimum of $500 per violation and maximum of $1,500 per call. Individuals may also actually be entitled to $3,000 per pre-recorded message since these prerecorded messages are normally made using an auto-dialer. The technology of these new auto-dialers is truly astounding. It is common for companies to call 14 million people every day or text 18 million times per month. The total number of robo-calls everyday is unknown for sure but some experts estimate that around 1.5 Billion robo-calls happen each and every day in America.
One thing that all consumer advocates agree on is that it is time to stand up and fight back. Nobody should be held hostage in their own home or at work or with their friends or family and be scared to answer their own phone. Debt collectors and banks like to bully people and until we really fight back it will continue. Let us reclaim our privacy and make these bullies pay for it. If you think a company has called you without your permission and you would like to seek compensation and hold them financially accountable for their illegal conduct, our attorneys will be happy to provide you with a free consultation.
ARE YOU ENTITLED TO $1,500 PER CALL?
If any company is making illegal calls to you in this way, each call you receive to your cell phone may entitle you to between $500 and $1,500 in statutory damages, that is, as long as the company does not have your expressed permission to call your cell phone AND the calls are made from some sort of an auto-dialing system. Many large companies use this technology today, and just because there wasn’t a prerecorded message, it does not mean that the call wasn’t autodialed. In many cases, this technology allows the company calling to auto-dial your number and, if you pick up, place a representative on the line (you may hear a short pause or a faint beep before the representative picks up).
If a company is calling your cell phone using this equipment, and they do not have your expressed consent to do so, then you may be entitled to between $500 and $1,500 in statutory damages per call. In the case of debt collectors, if you provided your phone number to the original creditor, they may have permission to call you. If you asked them to stop, even once, they should have stopped and may be in violation of the TCPA. If a company is calling your cell phone and the calls are not intended for you, they probably don’t have your consent to call you. This is often the case when they are calling your cell phone and asking for the previous owner of your phone number.
There are some companies, especially debt collectors, banks, and telemarketers, that are using this equipment to illegally call individual’s cell phones so much that it impedes their ability to use their cell phone for it’s desired purpose, and we all know how expensive the service is, let alone the device itself. Cell phones today are used for business, communication with our friends and family, and in many cases, cell phones are relied upon in case of emergency. It’s time to stop these bullies and reclaim our privacy and the technology we pay so much for and rely on tremendously. If you think you may have a claim against a company calling your cell phone and would like to seek compensation, our attorneys will be happy to provide you with a free consultation.