As most individuals now carry a mobile device for personal or business use, laws have been created to protect you from having your privacy invaded with junk robocalls or spam text messages to your cell phone. Under the federal Telephone Consumer Protection Act, no one can call you or text you on your personal or business cell phone using an automatic telephone dialing system or prerecorded voice (a robo-dialer) without your prior express consent. Our firm has recovered hundreds of thousands of dollars for its clients in the past year alone from companies engaging in improper robocalls under the TCPA.
For example, we recently represented an individual who had guaranteed a loan taken by her granddaughter. Our client was receiving robocalls every day for a debt that wasn’t hers and where the granddaughter was making timely payments! Our client told the debt collector to stop and when they didn’t, we filed a lawsuit. The debt collector had to pay $70,000.00 to our client to resolve the lawsuit.
We also recently represented a client who was receiving 5-10 robocalls per day to his cell phone from a large national corporation. There had been a class action lawsuit filed against this corporation to try to stop their robocalls but the individuals receiving these calls were only getting a few dollars each as part of the class action settlement. Our client opted out of the class action settlement and hired our firm to represent him. The large corporation had to pay $150,000.00 to our client to resolve the suit.
Some typical indicators of robo-dialers are 1) a recorded voice; 2) clicking, beeping or a long pause after you pick up before a human talks to you; 3) the lack of a response after you say something; or 4) generic content from the speaker (typically in a text).
If you gave your cell phone number to a company as contact information, that may constitute prior express consent. However, you can withdraw that consent orally or in writing. Once you withdraw your consent, they cannot auto-dial you on your cell phone again.
In order to have a claim under the TCPA, you must have received more than one phone call or text message within a 12 month period. Make sure you take screen shots of any texts and log any calls received from these companies. Damages under the TCPA are assessed on a “per violation” basis, meaning that each call is a separate violation of the statute and subject to damages.
If you are being harassed on your cell phone with robocalls or texts from machines, we may be able to assist. All consultations on Telephone Consumer Protection Act cases are free and we typically are willing to take TCPA cases on a contingency basis. Go to our contact page here and an attorney will conduct a free case review for you. There are no obligations and no costs to you to do so.