We’ve all experienced it. You’re about to sit down to dinner, or you’re in the middle of movie night, and your phone rings. You look at the screen only to see that the call is from an unknown number, perhaps marked “suspected spam.”

These calls are annoying, but they can be much more than that. Telemarketing calls can be intrusive and harassing—and when scammers are on the other end of the line, they can even be dangerous.

Federal and Florida state laws protect consumers from unwanted telephone sales calls, and victims of telemarketer harassment can hold the perpetrators financially liable for violations. If telemarketers and robocalls are affecting your life, an experienced consumer protection lawyer with Lehrman Law can inform you of your rights and help you take action.

Contact us today for a consultation.

Rights Under the Federal Telephone Consumer Protection Act

The Federal Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) allows consumers to sue telemarketers for harassment. Under the law, telemarketers:

  • May not make calls using automatic dialing systems or pre-recorded voice (robocalls) without the prior express consent of the called party.
  • May not use call or text cell phones or devices that may charge the called party for the call without prior express consent.
  • May not call outside the hours of 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.
  • Must suppress and discontinue calling numbers on the National Do Not Call (DNC) registry. 
  • Must identify themselves and the company they work for and provide contact information.
  • Must provide consumers with an option to opt out of future calls and maintain an internal do-not-call list.

The TCPA does not apply only to phone calls. The law also prevents telemarketer harassment via fax or text message. When telemarketers violate the provisions of the TCPA, victims can seek monetary compensation.

Florida Laws Shield Consumers from Telemarketers

In addition to the TCPA, Florida residents are protected from telemarketers through the Florida Telemarketing Act. According to the law, telemarketers:

  • May not call outside the hours of 8 a.m. and 8 p.m.
  • May not block their name or number on caller identification systems. 
  • May not make more than three unsolicited phone calls to the same number or individual in a 24-hour period, regardless of the number used to make the call.
  • May not make robocalls without prior express written consent.
  • Must have a license to operate within the state from the Florida Division of Consumer Services.
  • Must state their name and company name and identify the goods or services for sale within the first 30 seconds of the call.
  • Must inform consumers of their right to cancel a purchase or agreement if they consent to buy a good or service.
  • Must stop calling if a consumer informs them they no longer want to receive sales calls.

Florida law permits consumers to sue telemarketers who violate telephone solicitation laws. Florida also maintains a state database of do-not-call numbers in addition to the federal DNC registry.

Compensation for Telemarketer Harassment

Consumers can seek financial compensation when a telemarketer violates the TCPA or Florida telemarketing laws. Violations include calling a number on a DNC list, calling after hours, making repeated calls, or making any type of automated or robocall without express permission.

The maximum standard penalty for a TCPA violation is $500. Persistent “intentional and knowing” violations from the same telemarketer or company could carry penalties as high as $1,500. Violations of Florida law carry the same financial punishments. However, if a consumer’s “actual damages” exceed $500, they may be able to recover more under state law.

If you believe you have a claim for compensation against a telemarketer or telephone solicitation company, reach out to our firm to learn more about your legal rights. Our telemarketer harassment lawyers can take action to stop the calls, help you collect evidence of harassment, file complaints, and pursue the financial awards you may be owed.

How Consumers Can Protect Themselves From Telemarketers

One of the best ways consumers can protect themselves from unwanted sales calls is to ensure their phone numbers are on the National DNC list and Florida DNC list. You can register for the National DNC here and the Florida DNC here.

Consumers can also stop unwanted calls and support harassment claims by:

  • Not answering calls from unknown or blocked numbers or numbers labeled as “spam.”
  • Recording any information that shows up on caller ID.
  • Looking into call-blocking options through telephone service providers. 
  • Logging the dates, times, and length of telemarketer calls.
  • Filing complaints with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) or Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
  • Filing complaints with the Florida Division of Consumer Services.

Consumers should also be aware that some telemarketing calls are scams. Never provide an unknown caller or telephone solicitor with personal information, banking, financial, or credit information, or your Social Security number.

Contact a Consumer Protection Law Firm Serving Boca Raton

At Lehrman Law, we advocate for consumers who have been victims of unfair, deceptive, fraudulent, and illegal business practices. If you were the victim of telemarketer harassment, we can fight to hold individuals and businesses financially accountable. We can also take steps to help you protect your privacy and peace of mind going forward.

In addition to telephone solicitation cases, we help clients with claims involving robocalls, credit identity theft, consumer class action, consumer overcharges, and other consumer protection matters. We have the knowledge and legal experience to take on complex cases and are not afraid to stand up to large corporations and other powerful defendants.

Our Boca Raton telemarketer harassment attorneys can develop creative, effective, and personalized solutions for your claim. We can answer any questions you have about the Telephone Consumer Protection Act and your rights under the Florida Telemarketing Act and other state laws. Contact us today for a consultation and connect with a lawyer near you.