The Telephone Consumer Protection Act
Almost everyone has probably experienced a telemarketing or robocall. Repeated calls can be annoying or get in the way of your phone needs, but did you know there is a federal regulation regarding these calls? In fact, the law exists to protect the consumer from these solicitations and to safeguard consumer privacy. The law was passed in 1991 as the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991 (TCPA). If you have been receiving unwarranted telemarketing calls or you have any questions about the law, keep reading for a summary. If you have further questions, do not hesitate to reach out to our experienced attorneys at Law Advocates Group.
The TCPA and Potential Violations
The TCPA amends a previous act and is intended to restrict harassing and annoying telemarketing calls. The act concerns the following communication methods: cell phones, text messages, pre-recorded messages, faxes, residential phones, and automatic dialing. Moreover, telemarketers have to adhere to federal rules regarding a do not call registry. These are only some of the restrictions implemented by the TCPA.
In many of the situations, restrictions may not apply if the consumer has had an established business relationship with the solicitor within a certain period of time. However, if this relationship and consent does not exist, a telemarketer cannot send pre-recorded or automated messages to a consumer’s cell phone number. Similar restrictions apply for home phones (residential lines). Furthermore, while a consumer may have been receiving messages in the past, they can still retract their consent.
The TCPA also set in motion rules regarding do not call registries. A consumer can choose to have their number registered on the list. Once requested, the telemarketer can no longer call or send automated messages to the number. To continue calling that number would be a violation of the TCPA. Violations of any TCPA regulations can result in fines.