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TCPA - Receiving Calls on Your Cell From a "Robo Caller"

In this day and age, most everyone has a cell phone.  Justice _scaleIn fact, many people have replaced their home phones with a cell phone.  Most people who have a cell phone has received a call from a "Robo" dialer at some point or another.  It is quite typical for calls to be made by collectors or telemarketers utilizing an automated calling system. 

The calls can be rather annoying.  Sometimes they use up your minutes on a limited plan;  sometimes the call is for another person, but without a human being on the phone, you cannot tell someone to quit calling your number.  In the worst case scenario, the calls are incessant - non-stop and daily.  It can be quite an irritation to have a cell phone ring on an almost daily basis, only to answer andfind a machine on the other end. 

There is help in the law.  The TCPA - Telephone Consumer Protection Act (sometimes referred to as the Telecommunications Consumer Protection Act) is a statute that provides a remedy for consumers facing this issue.  Under this law, it is a violation to call a persons cellular phone:

  • with an autodialing system and,
  • without the express permission of the owner of that phone to make automated calls to the phone.
     

There are only a few simple issues here:  whether the calls went to a cell phone; whether the call was made by an autodialing system; and whether the consumer provided express authorization to call that number.  The issue of whether the calls are made by an autodialing system are usually easy to answer.  If when answering the phone, or if the call goes to voicemail, and the other end is not a human being, but a recording. 

The more complicated issue is that of express authorization to call the number.  It is in this area where most cases are fought.  Express authorization means that the person who owns the phone must actually give the permission openly to the caller.  This can be found mostly where the consumer provided the phone number in an application for credit, and now the collector of the account is calling. 

If a company violates the TCPA, they are liable for $500 for each call made.  A court may find that the conduct is willful or wanton, and may increase the amount per call to up to $1,500.  Therefore, a person getting a very high volume of calls, perhaps daily, can obtain a great monetary reward for their aggravation.

If you are receiving calls to your cell phone from an automated, or "Robo" dialer, CONTACT US for a free case review. SmithMarco, P.C. has been protecting consumer rights since 2005.

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