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There is nothing worse than being harassed by telemarketers. To that end it is important to know, under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), what your remedies are available against telemarketers.

The TCPA was initially passed into Congress in 1991. It amended the Communications Act of 1934. It restricts telephone solicitations (i.e., telemarketing) and the use of automated telephone equipment.

The FCC revised TCPA rules most recently in 2012 to require telemarketers (1) obtain prior express written consent from consumers before robocalling them, (2) to no longer allow telemarketers to use an “established business relationship” to avoid getting consent from consumers when their home phones, and (3) to require telemarketers to provide an automated, interactive “opt-out” mechanism during each robocall so consumers can immediately tell the telemarketer to stop calling.

What Constitutes a TCPA Violation?

Calls and text messages to cell phones is prohibited.

Calls to residential phone lines. In particular it applies to solicitations from telemarketers/sellers with whom the consumer does not have an “established business relationship.”

Calls to consumers on the “Do-Not-Call Registry.”

Consumers Need to Document Evidence of TCPA Violations

Obtain and save all call records and highlight incoming calls from telemarketers and debt collectors.

Keep a written log of all calls you have received, specifically, recording the call date, time and caller’s identity.

If they leave a voice mail, save it.

TCPA Violation Damages

If a violation to the TCPA occurs, a consumer may sue for up to $1,500 for each violation f they can show that the TCPA was violated knowingly and willfully. Up to $500 can be recovered for each violation of the Do-Not-Call Registry and the same goes for calls that violate the TCPA.

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