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Most people find unwanted cell phone calls and texts annoying. Luckily, a federal law, the TCPA, prohibits unwanted calls from being placed to cell phones. Time Warner Cable Inc. was ordered to pay a consumer $229,500 for placing 153 automated calls in less than a year. Consumers frequently receive the type of unwanted calls that the consumer in this case received.

Businesses place unwanted calls to consumers for a variety of purposes, including sales, marketing, debt collection and surveys. The TCPA prohibits calls without the prior express consent of the called party using any automatic telephone dialing system or artificial or prerecorded voice. In other words, businesses may not use certain kinds of computerized dialing systems to cell phones unless they have the consumer’s permission. The TCPA gives consumers the right to bring claims against those persons or businesses who violate the law and to recover $500 for each violation. The statute also allows the court to increase the recovery up to $1,500 for each violation of the law that was willful or knowing.