You can recover anywhere from $500 to $1,500 for EACH automated or auto-dialed telephone call made to your cell phone by a debt collector or telemarketer without your permission. The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”) is a federal law which protects you from such annoying and bothersome cell phone calls. The penalties apply even if you don’t answer the call. The law also applies to callers who play an artificial or pre-recorded voice on your cell phone. It also applies to texts received on your cell phone without your permission.
Autodialed calls, which are also sometimes referred to as robocalls, are made with telephone equipment (technically known as an “automatic telephone dialing system” or “ATDS”) which stores telephone numbers in a database which are then automatically called. This allows the debt collector or telemarketer to spend more time talking and not waste time dialing. These telephone systems are also sometimes known as “predictive dialers”. One common thing you may experience when called by an autodialer is silence or “dead air” after answering the phone. Then, after a few seconds or so, you’ll hear a click followed by a live representative coming online. If you receive a call such as this, chances are it was made with an autodialer. If the autodialed call (or “robocall”) was made without your permission, it is illegal and you have the right to be compensated under the law in the amount of $500 to $1,500 for EACH call. Similarly, when you receive a call on your cell phone and hear an artificial or pre-recorded voice played without your permission, that too is illegal and you have the right to the same compensation. The TCPA also applies to texts which are sent to your cell phone without your consent.
Because of the technical nature of this area of law, you should consult with an attorney experienced in handling TCPA cases if you receive these types of calls. Contact the Law Office of Joseph M. Adams for more information.