The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA)
The TCPA is a federal statute designed to regulate solicitors and limit the use of automatic dialing systems and prerecorded messages. 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 autodialing 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 autodial 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 impede's 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.