Real Life Examples Of TCPA Violations

Please Note

 

 

Below are real examples of TCPA violations. These are meant to show the wide variety of conduct by debt collectors, creditors, and solicitors that can lead to lawsuit. This, by no means, is an exclusive list. You should not assume from these stories that the conduct you are enduring does not rise to the level of conduct worthy of the attention by our office or worthy of the legal system. It would be impossible for us to provide even a small list of all the potential violations, and we do not attempt to do so here. We want to discuss any abuse you are enduring at the hands of debt collectors, creditors, and solicitors.


 

 

Automated Calls to your cellular telephone.

Recently, a consumer came to us about calls he was receiving on his cellular telephone through automated messages. It seems the company that financed his car was calling him, using an pre-recorded message, to tell him that he was late on a payment. This happened 18 times over a period of a few months. We sued. It is illegal to use an automated dialer to call your cell phone (you can usually tell because there will be a delay after you pick up the telephone before someone comes on the line). It is also illegal to call your cellular telephone and use a prerecorded message or a computer voice to leave you a message or "speak to you" when you answer the phone. In this matter, we were able to win the consumer $12,000 for the calls.

 

 

Junk Faxes.

You know those faxes your get from people trying to sell you vacation property? Well, they are money in your pocket. We sue companies that illegally fax.

The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) and Federal Communications Commission (FCC) rules generally prohibit most unsolicited facsimile (fax) advertisements.

Amended Fax Rules and Established Business Relationship Exemption

The rules provide that it is unlawful to send unsolicited advertisements to any fax machine, including those at both businesses and residences, without the recipient’s prior express invitation or permission. Fax advertisements, however, may be sent to recipients with whom the sender has an established business relationship, as long as the fax number was provided voluntarily by the recipient. Specifically, a fax advertisement may be sent to an established business relationship customer if the sender also:

obtains the fax number directly from the recipient, through, for example, an application, contact information form, or membership renewal form; or

obtains the fax number from the recipient’s own directory, advertisement, or site on the Internet, unless the recipient has noted on such materials that it does not accept unsolicited advertisements at the fax number in question; or

has taken reasonable steps to verify that the recipient consented to have the number listed, if obtained from a directory or other source of information compiled by a third party.

If the sender had an established business relationship with the recipient and possessed the recipient’s fax number before July 9, 2005 (the date the Junk Fax Prevention Act became law), the sender may send the fax advertisements without demonstrating how the number was obtained.

Opt-out Notice Requirements

Senders of permissible fax advertisements (those sent under an established business relationship or with the recipient’s prior express permission) must provide notice and contact information on the fax that allows recipients to “opt-out” of future faxes. The notice must:

be clear and conspicuous and on the first page of the advertisement;

state that the recipient may make a request to the sender not to send any future faxes and that failure to comply with the request within 30 days is unlawful; and

include a telephone number, fax number, and cost-free mechanism (including a toll-free telephone number, local number for local recipients, toll-free fax number, Web site address, or e-mail address) to opt-out of faxes. These numbers and cost-free mechanism must permit consumers to make opt-out requests 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Senders who receive a request not to send further faxes that meets the requirements listed in the next section must honor that request within the shortest reasonable time from the date of the request, not to exceed 30 days. They are also prohibited from sending future fax advertisements to the recipient unless the recipient subsequently provides prior express permission to the sender.

Opt-out Requests By Consumers

To stop unwanted fax advertisements, your “opt-out” request must:

identify the fax number or numbers to which it relates; and

be sent to the telephone number, fax number, Web site address, or e-mail address identified on the fax advertisement.

If you change your mind about receiving fax advertisements, you can subsequently grant express permission to receive faxes from a particular sender, orally or in writing.

Fax Broadcasters

Often fax advertisements are sent in bulk on behalf of a business or entity by separate professional fax broadcasters. Generally, the person or business on whose behalf a fax is sent or whose property, goods, or services are advertised is liable for a violation of the junk fax rules, even if the person or business did not physically send the fax. A fax broadcaster also may be liable if it has a “high degree of involvement” in the sender’s fax message, such as supplying the fax numbers to which the message is sent, providing a source of fax numbers, making representations about the legality of faxing to those numbers, or advising about how to comply with the junk fax rules. Also, if a fax broadcaster is “highly involved” in the sender’s fax messages, the fax broadcaster must provide its name on the fax.

Fax Numbers and the National Do-Not-Call List

Registering a home phone number on the national Do-Not-Call list prevents only telephone solicitations directed to that number, not fax advertisements to your home or business fax number. For more information on our telephone solicitation rules, see our consumer fact sheet at http://www.fcc.gov/cgb/consumerfacts/tcpa.html or visit our Web site at http://www.fcc.gov/cgb/donotcall. The FCC’s junk fax rules nevertheless prohibit fax advertisements unless you have an EBR with the sender or have given your prior express permission to receive the fax advertisements.