Telemarketing and robocall lawsuits can be filed against companies that make regular, unwanted calls to consumers. These lawsuits allege consumers are being harassed by telemarketing companies who make repeated telephone calls, text messages or faxes. A recent US Supreme Court ruling has opened the door for more litigation against companies that make relentless nuisance telephone calls.
If you are receiving annoying telemarketing and robocalls constantly, you may be able to file a lawsuit against the business calling you. Please contact one of our attorneys to see if you have a valid case. You could be owed $500 to $1500 per unwanted phone call or other violation of the law.
Violations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA)
The TCPA was passed into law in 1991. It protects consumers from telemarketers and robocallers. The TCPA states that nuisance telemarketing calls occur when a business makes phone calls or sends text messages for the reason of encouraging the purchase of property, goods or services. (FCC.gov)
The TCPA was recently updated to include annoying, constant text messages, and establishes rules for how companies may contact consumers. The following are TCPA violations, and you may be able to file a telemarketing and robocall lawsuit if a company engages in these practices:
- Sending unwanted text messages.
- Contacting consumers without offering a way for them to opt out of communications.
- Contacting phone numbers that are on the Do Not Call Registry.
- Robocalling or sending texts to customers with whom the company has no earlier relationship. Businesses must get written consent to make robocalls to consumers.
- Calling consumers before 8 in the morning or 9 in the evening.
- Contacting a consumer after they have told the company to not contact them.
- Using an artificial voice in a telephone call.
- Not identifying the company that is responsible for making the call.
A violation of the TCPA results in a fine of $500 per violation and up to $1500 per willful violation. (Robokiller.com)
Violations of the Do Not Call Registry
The FCC established the Do Not Call Registry so consumers can register their home or cell phone number to not receive many common types of telemarketing calls. If you still receive unwanted telemarketing and robocalls, you could be eligible to file a lawsuit against the company. Note, however, that even if you register, some organizations still may contact you, such as charities, debt collectors, political groups and surveys. (DoNotCall.gov)
Recent Telemarketing and Robocall Lawsuits
Some recent lawsuits that are still pending:
- In 2016, Portfolio Recovery Associates LLC agreed to settle claims that it had violated the TCPA by using robocalling software to call consumers. That settlement will require the company to pay $18 million to more than 7 million class members.
- In 2012, the US Supreme Court ruled against Arrow Financial Services for making nuisance telemarketing calls. The lawsuit was filed by a man who alleged he received regular, unwanted calls from Arrow, which was attempting to collect a debt. The man said the company had violated the TCPA. While a lower court threw out the lawsuit, the Supreme Court found that the TCPA applied in this case.
- Time Warner Cable lawsuits: A class action lawsuit was filed against Time Warner Cable that alleges the company regularly flouted the TCPA. The suit claims Time Warner made unwanted telemarketing calls to mobile phone users with robocall software.
- Walmart robocall lawsuit: A class action lawsuit was filed against several Walmart stores alleging the company was making robocalls without permission. The lawsuit states that Walmart repeatedly made calls about a credit card the plaintiffs did not apply for.
- TD Bank telemarketing lawsuit: A class action lawsuit was filed against TD Bank. It alleged several violations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act. The suit alleges TD Bank made repeated calls to account holders up to 10 times per day without their permission
- Other recent lawsuits have alleged telemarketing businesses violate the Do Not Call Registry established by the FCC.
Recent Telemarketing and Robocall Settlements
Some recent settlements for class action lawsuits:
- JPMorgan Chase Robocall Settlement: A $10 million settlement was reached in a robocall class action lawsuit against finance company JPMorgan Chase. The bank was alleged to have violated the TCPA by making robocalls without consent to two million customers. The annoying phone calls left messages that told customers to call certain numbers to discuss various account details.
- HSBC Bank Telemarketing Settlement: The bank was hit with a $40 million robocall settlement from a class action suit that claimed HSBC had violated the TCPA by making nonemergency calls 24 hours per day to customers.
- Unwanted Text Messages – $3.5 Million Settlement: In 2017, retail giant SuperAmerica in Minnesota settled a TCPA lawsuit that was brought by a consumer representing 175,000 others in a class action lawsuit. Class members received unwanted text messages that were illegal under the TCPA.
- Carribean Cruise Line: $76 million in 2016.
- Capital One: $75.5 million in 2014
- Dish Network: $61 million in 2017
- US Coachways: $49 million in 2016
- AT&T Mobility: $45 million in 2014
What You Need to File a Telemarketing and Robocall Lawsuit
It is easy to say that telemarketers are violating the TCPA, but you will need to have proof of the violations. Our TCPA attorneys recommend the following to gather proof of telemarketing and robocall violations:
- Record every communication between you and the telemarketer. This would include any communication by phone, letter, text and voice message.
- Keep records when you ask the telemarketer not to contact you again.
- Record the time and date of the phone call, how long the conversation was, the name of the caller, and details of the conversation
- Allow the telemarketer to talk. The more he or she talks, the more evidence you record.
Any person who has received calls or texts that violate the TCPA can probably file a lawsuit. Consumers could be owed up to $1500 per illegal robocall.
Entities You Can Sue for Robocalling
A consumer can file a robocall and telemarketing lawsuit against the following entities:
- Debt collectors
- Student loan companies
- Mortgage companies
- Anyone who says you have won a free cruise, sweepstakes etc.
Contact a Telemarketing and Robocall Attorney Today
If you or a family member has been receiving nuisance robocalls and text messages, please contact our law office for a free case review. You could be eligible for compensation for your damages.
- FCC Actions on Robocalls and Telemarketing. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.fcc.gov/general/telemarketing-and-robocalls
- How to Sue a Robocaller. (2017). Retrieved from https://www.robokiller.com/blog/how-to-sue-a-robocaller/
- National Do Not Call Registry. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.donotcall.gov/