Frequently Asked Questions About The TCPA

Please Note



Nothing on this web site should be viewed as creating an attorney-client relationship between you and our law firm, or any of our attorneys. The information here is general in nature and should not be viewed as applying to your specific circumstances. Only a qualified consumer rights attorney can advise you about your specific situation. Hyde & Swigart are California consumer rights attorneys. State laws, and the interpretation and rulings on federal laws, are different in each jurisdiction. If you feel you need consumer rights legal advice, contact Hyde & Swigart at (619) 233-7770 for a free consultation.



If I decide I need to talk to a lawyer, what does it cost for me to talk with Hyde & Swigart?

If you are concerned that talking with Hyde & Swigart is going to cost you money, stop worrying, it won't. If you think that bringing a lawsuit will cost you a lot of money, you are wrong. All you need is a good case and attorneys that want to help you. For more information, click here.



Telemarketers are constantly calling my home and leaving automated messages advertising property, vacations, and alike. What can I do about this?

Unsolicited pre-recorded calls for the sale or lease of goods or services are banned unless a "live" operator first asks permission to play the tape. The operator must also tell the person who answers the phone the name of the caller and either the caller's address or telephone number. The operator must also ask if the person consents to hear the recorded message.

We can help you with this. We have sued telemarketers for this very thing. It is generally illegal for a telemarketer to use an autmated dialer to call you and leave solicitations on your answering machine or play them into your phone when you answer. And we do not just get them to stop, we can win money for you!


What is the National Do Not Call Registry?

The National Do Not Call Registry gives you an opportunity to limit the telemarketing calls you receive. If you registered by August 31, 2003, you should be receiving fewer telemarketing calls since October 1, 2003. If you registered after September 1, 2003, telemarketers covered by the National Do Not Call Registry will have up to three months from the date you register to stop calling you.

I’ve already registered on my state’s do not call list. Do I need to register on the National Do Not Call Registry?

The answer depends on where you live. California share their data with the national registry. If you registered your phone number in California, you do not have to re-register with the national registry. If you are at all uncertain about your registration, you may wish to visit to verify your status. Also, some state lists have shared or will share their data with the national registry after June 26, 2003. If you want to check whether your telephone number was shared, you can verify by visiting

Is there any way I can be sure I am on the National Do Not Call Registry?

Yes, you can verify that your number is on the registry online at or by calling the registry's toll-free number (1-888-382-1222) and following the prompts for verifying that your number is on the registry.

Can I register my cell phone number?


Can I register my business phone number?

The National Do Not Call Registry is only for personal phone numbers. Business-to-business calls are not covered by the National Do Not Call Registry.

I moved and got a new phone number. Do I need to register the new number?


If I register my number on the National Do Not Call Registry, will it stop all telemarketing calls?

No. Placing your number on the National Do Not Call Registry will stop most telemarketing calls, but not all. Because of limitations in the jurisdiction of the FTC and FCC, calls from or on behalf of political organizations, charities, and telephone surveyors would still be permitted, as would calls from companies with which you have an existing business relationship, or those to whom you've provided express agreement in writing to receive their calls.

Are calls from political organizations or calls soliciting for charities covered by the the National Do Not Call Registry?

Political solicitations are not covered by the National Do Not Call Registry at all, since they are not included in its definition of "telemarketing." Charities are also not covered by the requirements of the National Do Not Call Registry. However, if a third-party telemarketer is calling on behalf of a charity, a consumer may ask not to receive any more calls from, or on behalf of, that specific charity. If a third-party telemarketer calls again on behalf of that charity, the telemarketer may be subject to a fine of up to $11,000.

What about telephone surveys?

If the call is really for the sole purpose of conducting a survey, it is not covered. Only telemarketing calls are covered - that is, calls that solicit sales of goods or services. Callers purporting to take a survey, but also offering to sell goods or services, must comply with the National Do Not Call Registry.

My number is on the National Do Not Call Registry. After I bought something from a company, a telemarketer representing that organization called me. Is this a violation?

No. By purchasing something from the company, you established a business relationship with the company. As a result, even if you put your number on the National Do Not Call Registry, that company may call you for up to 18 months after your last purchase or delivery from it, or your last payment to it, unless you ask the company not to call again. (In that case, the company must honor your request not to call. If they subsequently call you again, they may be subject to a fine of up to $11,000.)

An established business relationship with a company also will be created if you make an inquiry to the company, or submit an application to it. This kind of established business relationship exists for three months after the inquiry or application. During this time, the company can call you.

If you make a specific request to that company not to call you, however, then the company may not call you, even if you have an established business relationship with that company.

Are telemarketing calls from overseas covered?

Yes. Any telemarketers calling U.S. consumers are covered, regardless of where they are calling from. If a company within the U.S. solicits sales through an overseas professional telemarketer, that U.S. company may be liable for any violations by the telemarketer. The FTC can initiate enforcement actions against such companies.

I am on the National Do Not Call Registry but I am still getting calls. What can I do?

Call Hyde & Swigart at 619-233-7770.



I am receiving messages on my cell phone that are automated - they play this recorded message into my phone and "remind me" that I am behind on my payments, that I forgot to return a video tape that I rented, etc. Is this legal?

This is not legal. It violates the TCPA.

You should contact Hyde & Swigart, immediately. Do not erase any messages that are left - we would like to hear them.



I am getting SPAMMED, and it is threatening to shut me down. What can I do about this?

SPAMMING (Unwanted E-Mail Solicitations) is illegal in California. If the situation is serious and you want to discuss taking legal action, give us a call at 619-233-7770.



I keep getting phone calls and when I answer no one is there. Why is this happening??

Random digit dialing devices are able to determine all possible phone number combinations, even unlisted numbers, and dial them much more rapidly than any person can. Many telemarketers use "predictive dialing" technology to call consumers who are not on the National Do Not Call Registry. A computer dials many phone numbers in a short period of time. When an individual answers, the computer seeks a sales representative who is not occupied and connects the call. If all employees are handling other calls, the consumer hears dead silence. These are "abandoned calls."

Many people are frightened when they receive abandoned calls. They wonder if someone is harassing them, or if a burglar is checking to see if they are not home. In most cases, these calls are from telemarketers, and if these calls are to your cellular telephone, they are illegal.