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Automated Text Messages and TCPA Violations
As smartphones become more pervasive each day, it’s increasingly common for businesses to communicate with employees or customers via text message; however, texting to communicate can expose a business to substantial penalties under federal law. The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) was enacted in 1991 to protect consumers from unsolicited automated calls, texts, and faxes. The TCPA allows victims of illegal calls to collect damages for TCPA violations of a minimum of $500 per illegal call, text, or fax, which can add up quickly when a business texts thousands of individuals at a time.
Illegal Calls and Texts Under The TCPA
While the TCPA does prohibit unsolicited automated telemarketing calls, the federal law treats calls to landlines differently than calls to mobile devices. Additionally, the TCPA treats a text message as a “call”. So, the same rules that apply to cell phone calls apply to texts.
- Cell Phones: Calls to cell phones using any form of artificial or prerecorded voice or using an automated telephone dialing system without the recipient’s consent are illegal. While the law does allow for some exceptions, they are very narrow and you should assume they do not apply to your business.
- Landlines: Telemarketers cannot call your residential landline using a prerecorded or artificial voice without your prior written consent. There are more exceptions to the landline rules than to those governing cell phones, including emergency calls and calls made for non-commercial purposes, among others.
Suing For Illegal Calls and Texts
Receiving spam texts is not just annoying, it’s also illegal; and the TCPA allows victims to sue the violator and recover a minimum of $500.00 per illegal call or text. If the violations are willful, the penalty can be as high as $1,500.00 per call or text.
Lawyers For TCPA Violations Lawsuits
If you’re a victim of robocalls, the attorneys at Whitfield Bryson LLP can help. Our lawyers are experts in TCPA law and have helped numerous people across the country hold accountable aggressive telemarketers, debt collectors, and more who do not comply with federal law.
Our attorneys know the law and understand how to effectively represent a consumer’s rights under the TCPA in court. Contact us today to talk with an experienced TCPA lawyer and get a free evaluation of the unwanted calls or text messages you’ve received.
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