Robocall & Telemarketing Lawsuit Center
Bernstein Liebhard LLP represents consumers who have been bothered by constant robocalls and prerecorded calls to their cell phones, unwanted texts, and junk faxes. A powerful federal law called the Telephone Consumer Protection Act or TCPA allows consumers to file telemarketing or robocall lawsuits against companies that send them unsolicited advertisements via landline, cell phone, text, or fax without their consent. Depending on certain factors, consumers who file telemarketing lawsuits in accordance with the TCPA can receive between $500 and $1,500 for each unsolicited robocall text, or fax they receive.
Bernstein Liebhard LLP is currently investigating complaints concerning prerecorded phone calls and robocalls (calls placed using an automatic telephone dialing system (ATDS)) made to cell phones by financial institutions and other companies concerning credit cards, loans, and debt collection. If you received such a call and did not consent to be contacted on your cell phone, please contact our office today to learn more about your rights under the TCPA. For more than two decades, Bernstein Liebhard LLP has fought on the side of consumers, and our legal staff is ready to join you in your battle against harassing telemarketers.
How Does the TCPA Protect Consumers?
The TCPA was first enacted in 1991 to address concerns over unregulated and harassing telemarketing calls and faxes. Over the years, the TCPA has expanded its reach and now not only regulates telemarketing faxes and landline calls, but also regulates calls made to cellphones using an automatic telephone dialing system (robocalls), prerecorded voice messages, and text messages.
The TCPA forbids telemarketers from contacting any phone number that is listed on the National “Do Not Call” Registry or the telemarketers’ own do-not-call list without obtaining the consumer’s prior consent. Certain narrow exceptions apply but for the most part, the Do Not Call Registry, which is nationwide in scope, forbids telemarketers (with the exception of certain non-profit organizations) from calling any number that is registered on this list.
The TCPA also governs how telemarketers contact consumers who have not registered on the National Do Not Call Registry:
Calls to Cell Phones
The TCPA prohibits the use of automatic telephone dialing systems (ATDS) and prerecorded messages on calls made to any cell phone. A telemarketer or debt collector violates the TCPA each time it makes an automated robocall, or uses a prerecorded message when placing a call to a cell phone unless the consumer has given “unambiguous written consent” to the telemarketer or debt collector. Even when consent has been given, however, the TCPA requires that telemarketers and debt collectors provide consumers with a clearly-defined way to revoke prior consent and opt-out of receiving such calls.
Text messages from telemarketers, debt collectors, and other companies are subject to the same consent requirements as voice calls made to cell phones. A telemarketer violates the TCPA each time it sends a text message to a cell phone unless the consumer has given “unambiguous written consent” to receive text messages from the sender.
Calls to Residential Landlines
The TCPA prohibits: (1) the use of prerecorded messages in calls made to residential telephone lines; and (2) calls to residences before 8:00 a.m. or after 9:00 p.m. The restriction on prerecorded messages has some limited exceptions (i.e., it does not apply to certain not-for-profit organizations and may not apply to solicitations from telemarketers with whom the consumer has an established business relationship, depending on the circumstances). Additionally, the caller must provide identification information, including his/her name, the name of the business entity on whose behalf the call is being made, and a telephone number or address at which the person or entity can be reached.
Telemarketers are also prohibited from sending unsolicited advertisements to any fax machine – both businesses and residences – without the consumer’s prior express consent. Fax advertisements 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 consumer. However, even permissible fax advertisements must provide notice and contact information on the fax so that consumers can “opt-out” of future faxes. If a consumer opts-out of receiving unsolicited faxes, telemarketers must cease sending faxes within 30 days.
Filing Suit Under the TCPA
When telemarketers or debt collectors make robocalls or prerecorded calls, or send text message or fax solicitations in violation of the law, affected consumers may file a TCPA lawsuit, either individually or as a class action, to obtain compensation for the harassment they have endured. These types of robocall and telemarketing lawsuits can be filed against any company that has violated the TCPA, including debt collectors, retailers, banks, credit card companies, and finance companies.
Consumers who successfully pursue a claim under the TCPA can recover: (1) up to $500 for each violation of the Do Not Call Registry; (2) up to $500 per phone call, text message, or fax that violates the TCPA; and (3) up to $1,500 per phone call, text message, or fax if the consumer can show that the telemarketer “willfully or knowingly” contacted him/her after the individual notified the company of his/her desire to opt out.
In recent years, a number of TCPA violation cases have resulted in recoveries for consumers. For example, in July 2015, a Texas woman was awarded more than $229,000 as a result of Time Warner Cable’s (“Time Warner”) violations of the TCPA. Specifically, debt collectors from Time Warner placed 153 unwanted robocalls to the plaintiff’s cell phone in less than a year, despite the plaintiff’s notice to Time Warner that they had the wrong phone number and that she was not the person they were trying to contact. In May 2013, restaurant chain Papa John’s Pizza agreed to pay $16.5 million to settle a TCPA class action involving a half million promotional text messages that were allegedly sent to consumers without their consent. In September 2013, Bank of America Corporation agreed to settle six separate robocall class actions for a record-breaking $32 million.
Learn More about the TCPA and Your Legal Rights
No one deserves to be hassled by unwanted robocalls, text messages, or junk faxes. If you are being bothered by telemarketers or debt collectors, contact the attorneys at Bernstein Liebhard LLP today at to learn more about your rights and what you can do to make the unwanted calls stop.
Since 1993, the lawyers at Bernstein Liebhard LLP have recovered over $3.5 billion on behalf of our clients. The Firm has been recognized for its commitment to its clients by many peer organizations, including being named to The National Law Journal’s “Plaintiffs’ Hot List” for 12 consecutive years. Bernstein Liebhard LLP is a leader in bringing class actions nationwide on behalf of aggrieved consumers. The Firm’s leadership and representation in consumer cases has resulted in meaningful relief for consumers and has helped put an end to unfair and abusive business practices.