Congress has spoken! Anti-telemarketing legislation has been passed. Under reasonable restrictions,certain tactics by telemarketers are prohibited and court actionable. Violations can be enforced bythe State via the attorney general’s office, the public via class action lawsuits or private lawsuits, and individuals via the small claims court.
Instead of a consumer requesting individual companies from not calling the home telephone soliciting their service, a residential consumer could sign up at one location and prohibit almost all telemarketers from calling the home phone number. The burden shifted to the telemarketing companies to check “the registry” rather than having the consumer contact the merchant and opt out. Penalties were instituted which are collectible by attorney generals, lawyers, and individuals through the small claims process.
Under the TCPA and the Do Not Call Registry, there are several different violations which are collectible. The most popular ones are:
- Calling a residential telephone number that is on the National Do Not Call Registry;
- Using a pre-recorded dialing device to initiate a commercial sale;
- Using a blocked telephone number when initiating a commercial sale;
- Soliciting a consumer before 8am or after 9pm;
- Failure to provide a copy of the company’s Do Not Call Manual after demand for a copy;
Slow down, before you start licking your lips about bringing telemarketers down. Under the TCPA, certain types of speech are exempted from lawsuits under the Act. Always remember, the violations under the TCPA were balanced with the First Amendment Right of Freedom of Speech. Certain solicitation exceptions are specifically carved out:
- Tax exempt non-profit organizations, including political parties and campaigns;
- Organizations with which you’ve had a prior business relationship;
- Organizations with which you’ve given prior written permission and not expressly revoked;
- Calls which are NOT COMMERCIAL.
Convenience is a big part of our lives. All of us would like to nail these pesky telemarketers; sometimes it is easier just to hang up the telephone. However, if you are in the mood to make some cash and fight back against these commercial parasites, the good news about small claims court litigation is that it can prosecuted in our home backyard. Since the violation occurred at our telephone, the proper jurisdiction for the action would be our local court.
For more information WWW.HOW TO SUE A TELEMARKETER.COM by Steve Ostrow