Robocalls have become inescapable, often disrupting our peace with unwanted and intrusive calls. These automated calls range from legitimate telemarketing to fraudulent schemes, creating a landscape where understanding your rights is crucial. The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) was established to combat this issue, offering consumers legal protection against the onslaught of these often unwelcome communications. This legislation plays a pivotal role in controlling the use of robocalls and safeguarding personal privacy.

What Are Robocalls?

Robocalls are automated telephone calls delivering a recorded message, often used for telemarketing, political campaigns, or public service announcements. Unlike personal calls made by humans, robocalls utilize a computerized autodialer to deliver a pre-recorded message to a large number of recipients at once. These calls can range from benign reminders from pharmacies or schools to more disruptive, sometimes illegal, calls like scams or unsolicited sales pitches. Recently, the sophistication of robocalls has increased, with some even using caller ID spoofing to appear more legitimate. This technology enables them to mimic local, familiar numbers, making it harder for recipients to distinguish between genuine calls and potential spam or scam attempts.

Understanding the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA)

The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), enacted in 1991, serves as a regulatory shield for consumers against the deluge of unsolicited robocalls. It sets strict guidelines for telemarketing communications, particularly those made through automated systems. Under the TCPA, businesses are required to obtain prior express consent before making robocalls to consumers for sales or marketing purposes. This act also mandates that a clear and easy way to opt out of future calls must be provided during each robocall.

Additionally, the TCPA restricts the time of day telemarketers can make robocalls and completely prohibits such calls to certain numbers, like emergency lines, hospital rooms, and numbers on the National Do Not Call Registry. Violations of these regulations can result in hefty fines for the offending companies, making it a potent tool for consumer protection.

For consumers, understanding the TCPA is crucial as it empowers them to recognize when their rights are being infringed. The act not only helps reduce the number of unwanted calls but also provides a legal pathway for individuals to seek redress for violations. With the evolution of communication technology, the TCPA has been periodically updated to address new challenges, ensuring its relevance in the ever-changing landscape of telecommunications.

Your Rights Under the TCPA

Under the TCPA, you, as a consumer, have specific rights designed to protect you from the intrusion and potential harassment of unsolicited robocalls. One fundamental right is that telemarketers must have your prior express written consent before they can make an automated call or send a text message for advertising or marketing purposes. This consent can be revoked by you at any time, signaling telemarketers to cease further communications. Moreover, the TCPA restricts telemarketers from calling outside the hours of 8 AM to 9 PM, local time, respecting your privacy during early and late hours.

Additionally, the TCPA entitles you to a legal recourse if these rights are violated. For every unauthorized call or message you receive, you may be eligible to claim statutory damages. This can amount to $500 per call or message, and up to $1,500 per call or message if the court finds that the TCPA was willfully or knowingly violated. These provisions not only compensate for the nuisance but also serve as a deterrent against future violations by telemarketers and marketers.

How to Identify and Report TCPA Violations

Identifying TCPA violations primarily involves recognizing unauthorized robocalls or messages. A key indicator of a TCPA violation is receiving an automated call or text message without having given prior express consent, especially if it’s for sales or marketing purposes. Another sign is receiving such communications before 8 AM or after 9 PM in your local time zone. Additionally, if the caller does not provide an automated opt-out mechanism during the call, or if the call is made to a number listed on the National Do Not Call Registry, these are potential violations.

To report these violations, start by keeping a detailed record of the call or message, including the date, time, caller’s number, and the content of the message. You can then file a complaint with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) or the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). For legal recourse, it’s advisable to consult with a lawyer experienced in TCPA cases who can guide you through the process of potentially seeking damages. This not only holds violators accountable but also helps in curbing the prevalence of such intrusive practices.

Your Rights under the FTSA

The Florida Telephone Sales Act is a Florida statute that provides important legal protections to Florida residents. The FTSA prohibits businesses from placing telephonic sales calls using an automated system for the selection and dialing of telephone numbers, including text messages, to Florida residents without prior express written consent. The FTSA also requires that a telephone solicitor who makes a telephonic sales call must identify themself by their full name and the business they are promoting when placing the call. The FTSA gives consumers the right to bring an action to recover the greater of actual damages or $500 for each received call which violates the statute.  

How We Can Help: TCPA and FTSA Cases and Legal Support

At Lehrman Law, we are dedicated to assisting individuals who have been bombarded with unauthorized robocalls, helping them to understand their rights and options under the TCPA and FTSA. We have extensive experience with TCPA and FTSA cases and can leverage our knowledge to navigate the complexities of these claims. We provide a comprehensive approach, starting with a thorough evaluation of your situation to determine if a violation of the TCPA and/or FTSA has occurred. 

Once a violation is identified, we guide you through the process of collecting evidence and building a strong case. Our aim is to not only stop the unwanted calls but also to seek appropriate compensation for the inconvenience and violation of privacy you have endured. We handle all aspects of the legal process, from filing the claim to representing you in court if necessary. Our commitment is to ensure that your rights are protected and that violators are held accountable for their actions.

Contact an Experienced Florida TCPA and FTSA Attorney

If you’re dealing with the frustration of unwanted robocalls and believe your TCPA and/or FTSA rights have been violated, don’t hesitate to reach out to Lehrman Law. Our experienced team is ready to provide you with the guidance and support you need to tackle these issues effectively. Contact us today, and let’s work together to protect your rights and hold violators accountable.