Telephone Consumer Protection Act
Robbins Geller Is Actively Investigating Violations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, 47 U.S.C. §227
In recent years, the increase of unsolicited robocalls, text message spam and other abusive telemarketing has reached epidemic proportions. These costly and intrusive practices are more than just a nuisance – they violate the law.
In 1991, Congress passed the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”), which strictly prohibits most autodialed, automated, or prerecorded calls and text messages to cellular and residential phones made without the prior express consent of the called party. Among other things, the TCPA makes it unlawful for any person to make any call (other than a call made for emergency purposes or made with the prior express consent of the called party) using any automatic telephone dialing system or an artificial or prerecorded voice to any telephone number assigned to a paging service, cellular telephone service or any service for which the called party is charged for the call. These TCPA prohibitions apply to both voice calls and text messages, and consumers may recover statutory damages of $500 for each violation and $1,500 for each willful violation.
Effective October 13, 2013, telemarketing robocalls to cellular and residential lines require not only “prior express consent” but “prior express written consent.” See In the Matter of Rules and Regulations Implementing the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991, CG Dkt. No. 02-278, Report and Order (F.C.C. Feb. 15, 2012). This recent FCC guidance also eliminates a prior exemption that permitted such calls if the recipient had a prior business relationship with the caller, and requires telemarketers to implement an automated, interactive opt-out mechanism for telemarketing robocalls. Id.
Recent decisions from the Supreme Court and federal appellate courts nationwide have broadly interpreted the TCPA to govern and proscribe a wide range of abusive practices. See, e.g., Mims v. Arrow Fin. Servs., LLC, 565 U.S. 368 (2012); Satterfield v. Simon & Schuster, Inc., 569 F.3d 946 (9th Cir. 2009); Gager v. Dell Fin. Servs., LLC, 727 F.3d 265 (3d Cir. 2013); Soppet v. Enhanced Recovery Co., LLC, 679 F.3d 637 (7th Cir. 2012); Gomez v. Campbell-Ewald Co., 768 F.3d 871 (9th Cir. 2014), aff’d, __ U.S. __, 136 S. Ct. 663 (2016); Osario v. State Farm Bank, F.S.B., 746 F.3d 1242 (11th Cir. 2014); Stein v. Buccaneers L.P., 772 F.3d 698 (11th Cir. 2014).
Robbins Geller has recovered millions of dollars for consumers under various federal and consumer protection statutes and is currently investigating potential TCPA violations, including unsolicited text messages and automated or prerecorded calls to consumers’ cellular and residential phones from financial institutions, retailers, debt collectors, as well as social media and other technology companies.
If you have received an unsolicited call or text message and would like to discuss your potential case with one of the Firm’s TCPA attorneys, please contact Shawn Williams or call 800-449-4900.