Do you remember the evenings meals when you expected the phone to ring the moment you moved your fork full of grandma’s secret macaroni and cheese recipe to your lips? Those were the good old days for telemarketers who cared less if they interrupted you during the birth of your first child
Since 1991, the United States Congress has enacted laws that prevent telemarketers from calling you any time during the day. The Telephone Consumer Protection Law of 1991, which George H. W. Bush signed into law, started the momentum to eliminate annoying telemarketer phone calls. Twelve years later, the Do Not Call Implementation Act created a National Do Not Call Registry. Loopholes in the 2003 law required Congress to pass another Do Not Call consumer protection bill in 2007.
Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991 (TCPA)
By amending the Communications Act of 1934, the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991 places restrictions on telephone solicitations. TCPA restricts the use of automated dialing systems, SMS text messages, and prerecorded voice messages to make marketing pitches. The bill also established several technical criteria for fax machines and voice messaging systems
TCPA includes the following provisions:
- Prevents marketers from calling residences before 8 a.m. and after 9 p.m.
- Requires solicitors to provide consumers with their names, company names, and a address or phone number for contact information
- Requires marketers to abide by the National Do Not Call Registry
- Prohibits advertising faxes not requested by consumers
- Stops the practice of autodial phone calls that take up two or more business lines
In the case of a willful violation of one or more TCPA statutes, consumers have the legal right to sue up to three times the monetary damage limit of $500. Otherwise, consumers may sue for up to $500 for each TCPA violations and seek a permanent injunction against a solicitor.
Do Not Call Implementation Act
Although the TCPA created the National Do Not Call Registry, it was not until 2003 that a law passed by Congress ensured compliance with the TCPA Do National Do Not Call Registry mandate. Registration for the Do Not Call list began in late June 2003, with Federal Trade Commission (FTC) enforcement starting on October 1, 2003. Telemarketers covered by the law have up to 31 days after a phone is registered to stop calling the phone number. Consumers file complaints against telemarketers that violate the Do Not Call Implementation Act by contacting the FCC or the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). You must provide the specifics of unsolicited telemarketing phone calls, such as the time the calls occurred, as well as the organization that made the calls.
The Do Not Call Improvement Act of 2007 made two significant changes to the 2003 law. First, the Do Not Call Improvement Act of 2007 requires consumers to register phone numbers one time, as opposed to the original law that required consumers to register phone numbers every five years. Second. The 2007 law increased the frequency in which the FTC eliminates disconnected and reassigned phone numbers from the National Do Not Call Registry database. Increasing the frequency of purging phone numbers no longer in use speeds up the FTC enforcement process.
If you believe a telemarketer has violated any of the Do Not Call laws, contact a licensed attorney that understands how to help you seek justice. Both the FTC and FCC handle thousands of cases per year, which means some cases never receive the legal attention granted under privacy laws.