Telephone Consumer Protection Act
Bothered by telemarketers or debt collectors on your cellphone or land line?
According to the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, if a bill collector or telemarketer calls you on your cell phone with a pre-recorded message or while using automated equipment, without your prior written consent, you are entitled to damages of between $500 to $1,500 per call!
What is regulated under the TCPA?
The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) regulates telemarketing calls, auto-dialed calls, prerecorded calls, text messages, and unsolicited faxes.
How To Tell if the call is made while using automated equipment
There are a few telltale signs that can tell you if you are getting calls from a bill collector or telemarketer:
The most obvious is when you hear a pre-recorded message such as “Please hold on for an important message” and then your call is transferred to a live person. This happens quite frequently as many collection agencies use equipment called predictive dialers. They have computers that call your cellphone and when you answer, the computer then transfers your call.
Dead air when you answer the phone. You might have to say “hello” a few times before you hear a live person. You might think that the caller did not hear you the first time, but that is not the case. The first time you said “hello” or something like that, the computer silently transferred your call to a debt collector.
Clicking noises before being connected to a live person.
Pattern of phone calls being placed to your cellphone at the same time of day over a period of time.
The Defendant’s website indicates that its using automated calling equipment (yes, this happens).
Defendant has been previously sued for violations of the TCPA.
What to do if you are called by a debt collector using automated equipment
Explicitly tell the debt collector that he is calling you on your cellphone and that he is not to call you again.
Keep a written log of the calls made to you by the debt collector if he or she calls you again. Tell the collector, again to not call you on your cell phone and to not call you again.
Take pictures of your caller ID on your cellphone.
Remember, the debt collector can call you on your cellphone if he has your prior written permission to do so. He will most likely state that he obtained such permission from you. Hence, its up to you to revoke that permission, if it ever existed at all.
Damages under Telephone Consumer Protection Act
You are entitled to damages of $500 for each call that the debt collector or telemarketer makes to you on your cellphone. If we can show that the bill collector or telemarketer willfully violated or disregarded your rights, then we can get $1,500 per phone call.