In 1991, Congress enacted the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) to address the growing concern of telephone marketing calls. TCPA restricts the use of automatic dialing systems, artificial or prerecorded messages, and telemarketing calls.
This federal statute is designed to protect consumer privacy. Our attorneys at Cogburn Law Offices can help ensure that your rights are protected under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act.
Restrictions Imposed by the Telephone Consumer Protection Act
The TCPA restricts telemarketing and the use of automated phone equipment. It limits the use of automatic dialing, pre-recorded voice messages, SMS, and fax. Unless they have explicit customer consent, companies must follow strict solicitation rules and honor the National Do Not Call Registry. Subscribers may sue companies that fail to follow TCPA guidelines.
National Do Not Call Registry
When the TCPA was passed, Congress delegated do-not-call rules to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Initially, FCC required that every company build and maintain its own do-not-call database. In 2003, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) created the National Do Not Call Registry and implemented regulations prohibiting commercial telemarketers from making unsolicited, unwanted sales calls. The National Do Not Call Registry covers all telemarketers except certain nonprofit organizations and applies to both interstate and intrastate calls.
TCPA Declaratory Ruling and Order
The Telephone Consumer Protection Act was amended and clarified over time. In 2015, the FCC released the TCPA Declaratory Ruling and Order to address requests for clarity as to how TCPA is interpreted by the FCC. The order defined terms in the TCPA and clarified consumer rights and restrictions of telemarketers. Key components of the TCPA Declaratory Ruling and Order of 2015 include:
- Robocall blocking offered to consumers by telephone service providers.
- Prohibition on telemarketers using automated dialing to call wireless phones and leaving pre-recorded messages without consent.
- Consumers’ right to revoke consent to receive telephone calls or SMS messages at any time in any reasonable manner.
- Requirement for callers to cease calling any wired or wireless reassigned telephone numbers.
- Consent to call or send SMS messages survives when a person ports a landline number to a wireless number.
- Certain urgent circumstances allow companies to call or send SMS messages to wireless phones without prior consent. Examples include alerts about potential fraud and reminders about urgent medication refills. However, companies must offer consumers the option to opt out.
Telephone Consumer Protection Act Violations
The TCPA is an important federal legislation that helps protect consumers from creditor harassment. It may be a violation of your rights under TCPA if telemarketers or debt collectors:
- Call before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m.
- Call your workplace when you have asked them not to
- Call you multiple times when you have asked them not to
- Call you if you are on the National Do Not Call Registry or the company’s do not call list
- Fail to provide the name and contact information of the company when a third-party solicitor is calling on behalf of a company
- Use artificial or recorded voice messages or robocalls
The above are only a few common violations of the TCPA. We can help you fight back against violations of the federal Telephone Consumer Protection Act, as it allows victims of rights violations to bring lawsuits.
If you feel that your rights have been violated under the TCPA, contact our experienced credit defense attorneys at Cogburn Law Offices for a free case consultation.