When it comes to telemarketing or marketing, in general, there are laws that govern and coordinate such practices. TCPA is one of such rules that govern telemarketing relationships between the marketer and the consumer. In order to protect the privacy of customers, the TCPA was ordained back in 1991. These regulations are aimed at telemarketers to respect the privacy of individuals and the was that they may solicit their customers. Anyone that violates the TCPA act is subject to fines and it depends on the level of harassment caused by the caller. It is therefore important for any telemarketer to understand how the TCPA act works so that they get themselves into trouble.
The TCPA (Telephone Consumer Protection Act) was enacted by the federal communications commission to protect consumers from receiving unwanted telemarketing calls without permission. Even though the act was formed since 1991, it has been reviewed in recent years and some changes have been made to the old regulations and new ones have been added. Anyone or company that violates the TCPA regulations may have to pay a fine of about $500-$1500. In some cases, companies may be fined up to a sum of thirty million. Any company who’s not aware of the TCPA act should definitely educate themselves right away, if not someday they’ll definitely pay a huge price for violating the TCPA rules.
What Does The TCPA Do?
TCPA provides rules to the telemarketing industry in different ways. It governs various telemarketing practices in different ways, this includes; phone calls, text messages, pre-recorded calls, auto-dialed calls, and unsolicited faxes. They also created a Do Not Call List; telemarketers are not allowed to call individuals who unsubscribed from their calling list.
Who Does The TCPA Affect?
TCPA affects both telemarketers and consumers who reside within the United States, both the consumer and the telemarketer must abide by the rules or will face legal actions for violating the TCPA rules. The most affected are the companies that use automatic phone dialing or pre-recorded voice to their customers.
What Happens To Those Who Don’t Comply?
Failure to follow the TCPA can cause of fine of up to $16,000 for a single violation. The fine is subject to increase over time, so you should always visit the federal communication commission to see the latest fine charges. If you also violate the rules many times you can face higher charges and sometimes you may face lawsuits, you might also be Court ordered to pay for damages. TCPA applies to send pre-recorded voice messages to; cell phones, fax machines, and residential telephones.
When Does A Company Violate The TCPA Rules?
Sending Automated Calls
Telemarketers are prohibited from sending automated calls to consumers without their consent. These are sometimes called robot-calls. This is a system whereby a computer program goes through a list of phone contacts and then auto dials those numbers with little or no human intervention.
Sending Pre-Recorded Messages
This involves sending artificial voices or messages, whenever a message is sent the receiver should be allowed to speak to a human being directly.
Do Not Call List
You’re not allowed to call any number that is in the Do Not Call Registry. The list was created by the federal trade commission. The list was created because of so many complaints received from consumers; any consumer that does not want to receive unwanted calls from telemarketers should place their phone number in the registry. Any telemarketer that calls your number has violated the TCPA and will face charges.
Even if you have the permission from the consumer a telemarketer is not allowed to call within certain hours, the legal call time is between 8am-9pm. After 9 pm, any marketing calls are not allowed.
It is against the TCPA rules for any telemarketer to hide his/her identity, they must reveal their real name or the name of the business they’re representing, should also reveal their location.
Are There Any Exceptions
In some cases telemarketers are allowed to send pre-recorded messages only if the consumer gives his consent, that is when the consumer gives his phone number willingly to the company by giving them permission to receive such messages.
A Telemarketer Violates The TCPA Rules, What Do I Do?
In most cases, telemarketers can deny your claims, as such if you want to prove your claims you must provide evidence. Here are some of the ways you can prove TCPA violations;
* Keep the record of the call or message
* Take note on when the call happened, write down the date and time and who made the call
* Keep a copy of the documents sent to the telemarketer that he does not have the permission to send you such messages.
* You then make a claim to the telemarketer to settle the matter, if not you hire an attorney to deal with him.
If you believe your rights have been violated by a telemarketer you can contact us so that we can make your claims. Visit Massey & Duffy for a free consultation.