North Carolina residents are consistently frustrated by harassing phone calls from Time Warner Cable. The ‘too-big-to-fail’ company has been the bane of its cable, television, and telephone customers since 1992. However, a few North Carolina residents have had some recent payback when they have told Time Warner Cable or other companies to stop harassing them with phone calls.
Time Warner Cable has recently encountered allegations that it violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) by using an automated telephone dialing system (ATDS) and artificial/prerecorded voice to make harassing phone calls or robocalls to its customers’ cellular telephones without permission. The three primary elements of a TCPA claim regarding cell phone contacts are: (1) the defendant called a cell phone; (2) using an ATDS; (3) without prior express consent or after a consumer revoked consent.
Recent federal courts decisions in North Carolina have been very helpful to consumer firms like Maginnis Law in proving violations of federal TCPA laws against Time Warner Cable or other corporations. In recent cases, Time Warner Cable contended that its customers cannot “revoke consent” since their customer contract specifically prohibits revocation. The Court ruled that North Carolina consumers were able to revoke consent using any reasonable method, whether orally or through written notice, despite contrary language in Time Warner Cable’s customer contract. This is consistent with the Federal Communication Commission’s interpretation of the TCPA. If you told Time Warner Cable, or any robocalling creditor, to stop calling you and they’ve kept making harassing phone calls, you might have a claim under the TCPA.
Time Warner Cable also tried escaping TCPA liability by arguing that TWC did not use an ATDS system. An ATDS is telephone equipment with “the capacity to store or produce telephone numbers to be called using a random or sequential number generator and to dial such numbers.” In one case, the Court rejected Time Warner Cable’s argument and affirmatively found that TWC did use an ATDS. In another case, the Court held that even if Time Warner Cable did not use an ATDS, it did use “prerecorded voice,” which is also covered under the TCPA. “Artificial voice” is computer generated while “pre-recorded voice” is a message pre-recorded by an actual person that a consumer hears when answering a telephone call.
For each violation of the TCPA, a consumer is entitled to a minimum of $500.00. When the violation was knowing and willful, the statutory damages can be increased to an amount between $500.00 and $1,500.00. If you have been contacted in violation of the TCPA by Time Warner Cable or any other company, contact the TCPA attorneys of Maginnis Law. Our TCPA attorneys can be contacted at 919.960.1545 or 919.526.0450 or through our confidential contact page.