FAQs About Telephone and Fax Abuse and the TCPA

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FAQs About Telephone and Fax Abuse and the TCPA

Does the TCPA only cover telephone calls?
No. The TCPA also applies to faxes and text messages.

How does the TCPA protect me from collection or telemarketing calls to my cell phone?
The TCPA prevents any company trying to collect a debt from using auto-dialed calls (computer dialed calls) to your cell phone unless you gave the company permission to do so. It also prevents a company from placing “pre-recorded” messages, which are messages that are not being left live but instead were previously recorded or they are computer generated voices, to your cell phone.

Does the TCPA stop collection calls to my home phone?
Yes but only for collection calls with pre-recorded messages that are not for you or they are for debts that you do not owe.

If I had given permission for a company to call my cell phone can I change my mind?
Yes. You can revoke your permission or consent to call your cell phone. The best way to do so is in writing.

Does the TCPA regulate calls from advertisers or sales people?
Yes. Advertisers and sales people must identify themselves as such and the company they work for.

I signed up for the National Do Not Call Registry. Does that mean I will not get any more collection, advertising or sales calls?
No. Some people cannot register for the Do Not Call Registry. In addition, business phone lines are not covered by the Do Not Call legislation. In addition, if you had given your permission for a company to call you, even if you are on the Do Not Call Registry, that company can still call. There are also some groups that can call even if you are on the Do Not Call Registry if they are for non-commercial purposes, such as political calls, surveys and those made by tax-exempt nonprofit organizations.

How can a company get my “express consent” to use an auto dialer to call my cell phone?
A company can ask you what number they can call. If you give them your cell phone number you have given express consent. Another way is if you list your cell phone number on an application or other document you sign when setting up an account. However, calling a company back on your cell phone is not “express consent” under the TCPA.

What federal governmental agency is primarily responsible for the TCPA?
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is primarily responsible for the TCPA and its regulations.

What can I get if I am successful on my TCPA claim?
If you are successful in your TCPA claim, you can get your actual monetary loss caused by a violation or $500 in damages per violation, whichever is greater. If you can prove the violation was done willfully or in knowingly violation of the TCPA, a court, in its discretion, increase the amount awarded to three (3) times the total damages.

Why does the TCPA allow for statutory damages even if I have not actually been harmed or damaged?
Statutory damages help prevent violations of the TCPA. If you could not bring a claim for a TCPA violation because you were not actually harmed, then the violators would continue to violate the law as there would not be any consequences for their violations. Statutory damages provide an incentive to people to make violators pay for their violation in an effort to change their behavior.

What should I do if I believe my rights have been violated under the TCPA?
Contact Lapin Law Offices for a free consultation to learn more about your rights.