Do you like getting telemarketer calls? Probably not. But how do you tell which calls are illegal and what you can do about it? Today, we’ll be discussing different aspects of telemarketer calls to help you understand about your rights against telemarketers.
What Is The Telemarketing Sales Rule?
The Telemarketing Sales Rule was developed by the Federal Trade Commission to give consumers the opportunity to decide if they want to receive telemarketing sales calls. This rule established the national Do Not Call Registry. By signing up for this registry, you can get rid of most unwanted telemarketing sales calls. A telemarketer is not allowed to call you if you are on this list unless:
- You have consented, in writing, to be called.
- You have an established relationship with the seller.
Once you sign up for the National Do Not Call List, it takes about 31 days to go into full effect. It is illegal to call numbers on the national Do Not Call List so telemarketers may be liable for civil lawsuits and penalties if they ignore this rule. If you sign up for the national Do Not Call List and still receive calls from telemarketers, you need to talk to a TCPA lawyer for advice. You could win money for each call made.
What Is The TCPA Settlement?
The Telephone Consumer Protection Act is a law that was passed by Congress back in 1991. This law protects consumers from receiving unwanted telephone calls from marketers and collectors. It severely restricts the ability of marketers and others to use prerecorded voice messages and automatic dialing machines to send sales calls. It also limits the use of SMS text messages and fax machines similarly. Under the TCPA, solicitors are not allowed to:
- Call residences before 8 AM or 9 PM local time.
- Call consumers that are on the national Do Not Call Registry.
- Call cell phones using a robodialer or automatic dialing device.
- Use faxes to solicit consumers or businesses.
Companies that violate the above rules may be subject to civil penalties. A TCPA attorney can help consumers get a TCPA settlement for violations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act. The rules allow for up to $1,500 for each telephone call that violates the TCPA. Some of these settlements can be in the millions of dollars.
What Is The Junk Fax Prevention Act?
The Junk Fax Protection Act is a law that was signed into effect in 2005. It is part of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act. It prohibits companies from sending advertising faxes to businesses and consumers. The definition of a junk fax is pretty broad meaning any material that advertises a company’s goods, services or property. So, if a company sends out a fax announcing their new line of products, this is considered a violation of the Junk Fax Prevention Act. There are only a couple of exceptions to this rule:
- The company has a past business relationship with the consumer or business.
- And the fax contains an opt-out clause.
So, if you have done business with the company in the past and they include an opt-out clause on the fax, then they are allowed to send you faxes.
If you are in California, you can get up to $2,500 for each junk fax sent to your fax number. Outside of California, the penalty is $500 per fax, but it could be more if the judge or jury determines that there were additional damages. To learn more about suing for junk faxes, you should consult with a TCPA lawyer.
How Early Can A Telemarketer Call Me?
Have you ever been awoken pre-dawn from a sound sleep from the sound of the ringing phone? And, when you pick up the phone, you discover not the dire family emergency that you expected but a pre-recorded messages to sell you a new cable television package.
Not only are these types of calls very annoying— but they are also illegal. Telemarketers are not allowed to call you whenever they want. Under federal law—the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991, telemarketers or collectors is not allowed to call you before 8 AM or 9 PM your local time. The only exception to this rule is if you expressly ask the marketer to call you during these hours.
If a telemarketer calls you outside of the legal hours, you are entitled to sue them for up to $500 per call. If they knowingly broke the law when calling you, then the penalties rise to $1500 for every call.
Who Regulates Telemarketers?
Are you the victim of telemarketer harassment? Are they calling or texting your cell phone all hours of the day and night? You don’t have to put up with annoying solicitation calls. Telemarketers are highly regulated by federal law. In spite of the law, telemarketers continue to harass consumers. They use robocallers to flood mobile phones with spam and scams. According to CBS News, Americans receive more than 2 million unauthorized calls every month, and that number is growing. In 2015, there were only 1 million unwanted calls each month.
So, how do telemarketers get away with making so many calls if they are regulated? They usually count on consumers not knowing the law. The Telephone Consumer Protection Act or TCPA is worth getting to know. It can be used to stop these calls for good. It is enforced by the Federal Communications Commission, or the FCC. Consumers can receive up to $1,500 for each telephone call that violates the TCPA. However, the calls must be reported before any action can be taken. To report the calls and get a settlement, you should contact a TCPA attorney.