Robocalls: Not Only Are They Annoying, They Could be Unlawful

If you’re under the impression that it’s only your phone that receives a litany of unwanted phone calls on a regular basis, think again. Americans received over 30 billion robocalls in 2017, and it’s a problem that will likely get worse before it gets better. In December 2017 alone, 89.6 million robocalls were placed—about 967 calls every second—equaling a number that’s close to a 20 percent increase when compared to the previous year.

Additionally, many marketers are now turning to text messaging as well. Just this summer, weight loss company Jenny Craig settled a $3 million lawsuit for violating the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA)—a 1991 law that places limits on unsolicited prerecorded telemarketing calls. Basically, the company sent text messages to individuals without their consent. In the particular case of the plaintiff, the company was texting Miami-Dade County resident Zoey Bloom with special offers through an alleged autodialing text message system. The problem being that, without her written okay, the text messages were unlawful.

Virginia-based recently agreed to pay $28 million to settle a class action suit against the company—the claim being that the manufacturer of smart home products and systems used a third party to call mobile, residential and business number all listed on the do-not-call (DNC) registry in an attempt to market its products.

Such settlements are becoming more common as the Federal Trade Commission enacts tougher enforcement of its rules and regulations while going after these companies that breach the TCPA. Yet as anyone who has signed up for the registry can attest to, such change happens slowly while many of us continue to receive annoying and harassing calls and texts.

If you are or have been a victim of unsolicited robocalls or faxes soliciting some type of business product or service, an experienced attorney with Baron, Herskowitz, and Cohen can help you understand all potential legal options. Please contact us for a free and confidential legal consultation.

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