If you have received unwanted calls or text message advertisements on your cell phone, you may be entitled to recover monetary damages.
Some of the most common violators are, besides those behind the “junk cars” text message: restaurants, nightclubs, pizzerias, car dealerships, and delivery services.
Pursuant to the TCPA, you may be entitled to recover a minimum of $500 dollars per unlawful text message (sent by an auto-dialer), and in some cases, even more, such as those already enrolled in the National Do Not Call Registry (www.donotcall.gov).
General Advice Consumers Must Know To Protect Their Rights Under The Telephone Consumer Privacy Act (TCPA)
- The TCPA protects consumers from receiving auto-dialed or pre-recorded messages on their cell phone unless the consumer has provided their prior express consent (it also covers text message spam).
- The most common violators of the TCPA are debt collectors, banks and telemarketers.
- If you have previously provided your cell phone to a creditor or debt collector and are receiving calls on your cell phone, you can always revoke any prior consent to receiving calls (it is best to do so via certified mail).
- Always save your voicemails and have them reviewed by a consumer attorney for potential violations of the TCPA (and other federal laws).
- Just because you hear a “live” voice is at the other end of the cellphone, the call still may have been made with an auto-dialer.
- If you are beginning to receive pre-recorded calls or calls made from an auto-dialer, start keeping a written log of the calls and request/save your records from your cell phone provider.
- If you are receiving calls on your cell phone for someone else’s debt, you may very likely have a claim under the TCPA (note: this also includes calls from banks or debt collectors looking for a friend or family member).
- If at all possible avoid giving out your cell phone number altogether; alternatively, if you can afford to do so, maintain two cell phones — one public, one private.