Class Actions Involving Spam Calls, Texts And Faxes
Nearly everyone agrees that telemarketing calls are irritating. They come during dinner and in the early morning hours. They arrive bearing automated voices and with screeching wails from fax machines. Whether they are offering magazine subscriptions or touting a certain political candidate, it’s seemingly difficult to end the stream of spam calls, texts and faxes.
However, consumers do have rights under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act and the Telemarketing Sales Rule. Additionally, some states have even more stringent regulations than the federal laws provide. These state regulations can include curfews, do-not-call lists and license restrictions.
At Branstetter, Stranch & Jennings, PLLC, our lawyers pursue class action lawsuits on behalf of clients who contend with unwanted and unlawful phone calls from banks, debt collectors and other solicitors. Our attorneys have particular experience with robocall lawsuits and related matters.
The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA)
Established in 1991 and then updated in 2015, the TCPA limits telephone solicitations and restricts the use of automated telephone equipment. Under the TCPA, people must offer unambiguous consent to receive particular types of phone calls. While there are exceptions to the rules, namely for emergency or security purposes, those are isolated instances.
Other rules under the TCPA include:
- Callers must state their names, the business or person they are calling on behalf of and their contact information.
- Phone calls are prohibited before 8:00 a.m. or after 9:00 p.m., local time.
- Solicitors may not call with an artificial voice or recording.
- Unless requested in writing, advertising faxes are prohibited.
- Callers may not use automated telephone equipment to contact an emergency line, including health care facilities, or any service where the recipient must pay a fee, such as cellphone calls.
The Do Not Call Registry
The Do Not Call Registry is a databank of phone numbers from consumers who want to restrict the amount of phone calls they receive from telemarketers. Managed by the Federal Trade Commission, the list identifies people whom it is illegal for most solicitors to contact.
Companies that use telemarketers must pay a fee to access the registry and are required to search it a minimum of once every 31 days. Unless the business has an established relationship with a number on the registry or the consumer has agreed in writing to receive telemarketing calls, it is illegal for the business to contact anyone on the list.
If you have questions about your rights under the TCPA or are considering a legal remedy, please call Branstetter, Stranch & Jennings, PLLC, toll free at 615-254-8801 or contact our Nashville office online.