How to Stop Robo-Calls

Since cell phones have become the more popular mode of
communication, Justice _scalemany consumers
will go through different providers and as a result have many
different phone numbers.  Sometimes a customer does not pay
the bill and their service is cut off, and that phone number is
given to a new customer.  For whatever reason, it is growing
more common as a cell phone owner to receive calls for the former
owner of that number.  It becomes more frustrating when the
former owner of that number has old creditors or collectors

Many of these creditors or collectors are turning to automated
systems to dial the multitude of numbers of consumers they call.
These automated dialers also tend to leave automated messages or
have automated systems when the calls are answered.  The
systems make it very difficult for the innocent phone owner to
force these erroneous “robo” to stop. 

One great tool enacted by Congress is The
Telecommunication Consumer Protection Act
.  This law
provides rights to people who are receiving robo-calls to their
cell phone without permission.  Under the TCPA, it s a
violation for a company to call:

  • with an automated dialing system;
  • to a cell phone
  • without the express authorization of the owner of that

Express authorization means that the owner of the phone either
stated or provided in writing.  This can be done by providing
the cell phone to the creditor as part of an application.  For
instance, if you provide your cell phone to a bank when signing up
for an account, you have given express authorization for a bank to
use that cell phone.  It is not a defense to the company
making the calls that they were given that cell number by their
former customer. Courts have held that just because the creditor or
collector may have had the permission to dial the number from the
former owner of the number, then it does not give them permission
to keep dialing the number once it changes hands.  That owner
of the number must be the one who gives the permission to
call.  Courts are also unmoved by the argument that the
creditors’ and collectors machines are unable to tell that the
number has changed ownership.   If a human being
would have been doing the job instead of a machine, the human could
have learned that a different person was answering the phone, and
discontinued calling that number.

If a company is found to be in violation of the TCPA, they could
be forced to pay up to $500 per illegal call.  For consumers
getting multiple calls a day, this can add up to quite a large
sum.  In addition, if the conduct in continuing the calls is
deemed to be a willful violation of the TCPA, the court can
increase the award to $1,500 per call. 

If you are receiving continuous automated calls on your cell
phone from a company you did not provide that number to, CONTACT USfor a free case review.  SmithMarco,
P.C., has over 30 years of combined experience practicing law
protecting the rights of consumers around the country.