Telephone Consumer Protection Act Summary
The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (47 U.S.C. §227)
What is required?
The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) protects consumers by regulating telemarketing calls, auto-dialed “robo” calls and text messages to a cell phone, and unsolicited junk faxes. It also prohibits a telemarketer from calling a consumer if the consumer’s phone number is listed on the National Do-Not-Call List.
Who is regulated?
Essentially, any entity that utilizes an auto-dialer to place phone calls in a manner prohibited by the statute. Common examples of entities which tend to be regulated by this law include debt collectors, creditors, telemarketers, companies who are hired to advertise, service providers, and solicitors.
When does the law apply?
When these persons or agencies contact you, without your permission, through the use of an automated dialing system or by using a pre-recorded or artificial voice, or by sending an unsolicited text message it is possible that your rights under the TCPA are at risk. If you have not given your permission (such as when applying for a loan or in a conversation with them), your TCPA rights may be violated if they:
- Call your cell phone using an auto-dialer;
- Call your cell phone and use a pre-recorded voice;
- Auto-dial your residential phone to deliver certain types of telemarketing calls;
- Call your residential line using a pre-recorded voice with certain types of telemarketing calls;
- Send a junk fax to your fax machine without properly identifying themselves and their number.
Is there a solution?
If your rights are violated under the TCPA, you may be entitled to actual damages (where applicable) and statutory damages of up to $1,500 per violation.
Last Modified: Friday, March 22, 2013