A telemarketer robocall lawsuit may be an option for people who received unsolicited phone calls from telemarketers working for major companies and debt collectors. Federal guidelines prohibit companies from contacting individuals without their written consent. Consumers may be eligible to receive up to $1,500 per unwanted call, if the violation was willful. People who have received unwanted calls may be able to file a lawsuit and recover compensation with the help of a telemarketer robocall attorney.
For more information, contact Attorney Group. We offer free, confidential, no obligation consultations. We can help answer your questions, and if you choose to pursue a case we can connect you with an affiliated telemarketer robocall lawsuit attorney who can assist you throughout the legal process.
Have You Seen a Telemarketer Robocall Lawsuit Commercial?
You may have seen a telemarketer robocall lawsuit commercial on television and wondered whether you or a loved one have received unsolicited, automated or prerecorded calls from companies and debt collection agencies and, if so, whether you are eligible to pursue a claim against the company or others. The purpose of this article is to provide you with additional information so that you have a better understanding of your options.
What is a Robocall?
Robocalls are unsolicited, automated telephone calls that contain a message from a business or other entity. Robocalls are often made to landline home telephones as well as wireless cellphones. Political and telemarketing phone campaigns are often primarily associated with the use of robocalls, however, automated phone calls may also be used for public service, emergency or school announcements. Cellphones may receive autodialed or prerecorded calls as well as text messages.
What are the Rules for Robocalling?
Under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has defined specific rules regarding the types of calls that can be made to consumers and other individuals. The TCPA regulates telemarketing faxes, landline calls and cellphone calls. Rules are different for landline and cellphones.
TCPA rules prohibit:
- Callers and solicitors from making residential calls before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m., local time
- Solicitations to residential landlines that use an artificial voice or recording
- Any call made using automated telephone equipment or an artificial or prerecorded voice to an emergency line (such as 911), a hospital emergency number, a physician’s office, a hospital or health care facility or room, a cellphone, or any service for which the recipient is charged for the call
- Autodialed calls that engage two or more lines of a multi-line business
- Unsolicited advertising faxes
TCPA rules require:
- Callers and solicitors keep and maintain a company-specific “do not call” (DNC) list of consumers who have asked not to be called, and the DNC list must be honored for five years
- Solicitors honor the National Do Not Call Registry
- Solicitors provide their name, person or entity on whose behalf the call is being made, and a telephone number or address for the person or entity making the call
If a violation of the TCPA occurs, consumers and subscribers can sue up to $500 for each violation, seek an injunction or both. A consumer or subscriber may sue for up to $1,500 for each violation in the event of a willful violation of the law.
According to the FCC, businesses must obtain a person’s written consent (paper or electronic) or a recording of their oral consent before it can begin making automated telemarketing calls (or texts) to a residential or wireless number. Telemarketers are not allowed to call any number that is listed on the National Do Not Call Registry, and telemarketers cannot make robocalls to landline numbers based solely on an “established business relationship” that a person may have if they made a purchase or contacted a business to ask questions.
Rules for Political Organizations and Debt Collectors
In the United States, political robocalls to residential landlines are exempt from the National Do Not Call Registry. Likewise, the FCC allows non-commercial robocalls to most residential landlines. Some state laws provide further protections, including Indiana and North Dakota, which prohibit automated political phone calls. In California, state law prohibits any robocall unless there is an existing relationship between the caller and the person receiving the automated call.
Political organizations are not allowed to make unsolicited robocalls to cellphones. Additional guidelines for automated political phone calls require that a live person identify the organization and reason for call, that the recipient give consent, and that the call be disconnected as soon as the call is terminated.
In addition to laws protecting consumers from automated phone calls in general, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) establishes legal protection from abusive debt collector practices, including those associated with telephone contact. Those provisions prohibit debt collectors from making phone calls outside of the hours of 8 a.m. and 9 p.m. local time, continuing communication once a written request has been made, and intentionally annoying or harassing any person at the called number.
How to Stop Receiving Robocalls
Under the TCPA, the FCC has provided ways for people to stop unwanted robocalls. Ways consumers can stop unwanted calls include:
- Asking the phone company to offer robocall-blocking technology
- Registering the telephone number on the National Do Not Call Registry
- Informing unwanted callers that that the recipient does not give consent to the call, making a record of the call, and letting the FCC know
- Taking legal action against the telemarketing company
The National Do Not Call Registry is intended to give consumers in the United States the ability to limit the amount of telemarketing phone calls they receive. Not every unsolicited call will be stopped once a caller is placed on the registry. Consumers can still receive phone calls from political organizations, not-for-profit organizations, and callers conducting surveys.
What Can I Do to Take Legal Action Against Robocalls?
Consumers can take legal action against companies and businesses that make robocalls or prerecorded calls without written consent. Consumers may be able to file a lawsuit against the following types of businesses:
- Debt collectors
- Student loan companies
- Credit card companies
- Other businesses claiming to inform people that they have won a prize or sweepstakes
If you should choose to pursue a claim, Attorney Group can connect you with an affiliated telemarketer robocall lawsuit attorney who can answer your questions and assist you throughout the legal process.
Is There a Telemarketer Robocall Class Action?
In November 2014, a class action lawsuit was filed against copyright enforcement company Rightscorp, Inc. alleging violations of the TCPA and FDCPA. The proposed lawsuit alleged unlawful robocalls, as well as unfair debt collection practices. Other allegations included that the company met the legal definition of a “debt collector,” but continued to make harassing phone calls and failed to adhere to California law regarding debt collection practices, according to an article published in Ars Technica.
Additionally, a number of telemarketer robocall class action lawsuits have been filed alleging the use of autodialers and automated and prerecorded messages. Some class action lawsuits have led some companies to proposed settlements to resolve claims of making unwanted robocalls and violating the TCPA.
Have There Been Telemarketer Robocall Settlements?
According to an article issued by techdirt.com, a proposed settlement has reportedly been reached to end the telemarketer robocall class action lawsuit brought against Rightscorp, Inc. in 2014. The settlement states that the defendants in the case will contribute $450,000 to the settlement fund, with each qualified class member set to receive up to $100 each.
In August 2014, Capital One agreed to pay over $75 million into a settlement fund after plaintiffs alleged that the company used an autodialer to call consumers’ cellphones. The proposed settlement amount is the largest to date involving the use of an automatic telephone dialing system or prerecorded voice in connection to collect on a debt.
Other companies who have reportedly reached settlements regarding the use of telemarketer robocalls include AT & T Mobility, HSBC, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, American Express, and Western Union.
Telemarketer Robocall Lawsuit News
- July 2015 – Federal judge orders Time Warner Cable to pay $229,500 for placing 153 automated calls to Texas woman
- August 2014 – Capital One agrees to pay $75.5 million to end a class action suit brought by consumers alleging that the company used an autodialer to call cellphones
- April 2014 – Bank of America agrees to pay $32 million to resolve claims of harassing phone calls to the cellphones of customers with mortgage loans and credit cards
- February 2013 – Heartland Automotive Services, Inc. (a Jiffy Lube franchisee) agrees to pay between $35 and $47 million after the company allegedly violated the TCPA with a text message promotional campaign
- September 2012 – Sallie Mae agrees to pay $24 million after plaintiffs allege that the company violated the TCPA when it called or texted approximately eight million borrowers’ cellphones using an autodialer trying to collect debt payments
Other Telemarketer Robocall Lawsuit Claims
According to an article published by Reuters in 2015, a federal judge has ordered Time Warner Cable to pay over $225,000 to a Texas woman for placing over 150 automated calls meant for someone else to her cellphone. The woman had reportedly told the company to stop making the phone calls, which had been meant for someone who previously had her number. Time Warner Cable argued that they weren’t liable because the phone calls were meant for someone else. However, the federal judge presiding over the case believed that “a responsible business” would have tried harder to find the right person to call. Even after the woman had filed a lawsuit against the company, Time Warner Cable continued to call her a total of 74 more times.
How a Telemarketer Robocall Lawsuit Attorney Can Help
When companies and debt collectors make harassing phone calls, or otherwise commit abusive telemarketing practices, that company or business could be liable for any damages that result. Under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), affected consumers can receive between $500 and $1,500 per violation, in addition to attorneys’ fees in addition to other potential damages.
For more information, contact Attorney Group. After you contact us, an attorney will follow up to answer questions that you might have. There is no cost or obligation to speak with us, and any information you provide will be kept confidential.
Please note that the law limits the time you have to pursue a claim or file a lawsuit for an injury. If you think you have a case, you should not delay taking action.