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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 & Mason 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.
Whitfield Bryson & Mason
Our trial lawyers were specifically chosen for the depth of their experience and the breadth of their knowledge. Among the group are attorneys who have been recognized for excellence by industry associations and have gained national recognition for significant victories in challenging cases.
John Whitfield has been significant in his management of a suit involving the death of my son in a motorcycle accident. His professionalism, compassion, support, and especially his knowledge base in this suit has been above reproach. He has communicated well and kept all parties apprised of the status of the suit. I feel he negotiated effectively to reach the best possible settlement for my son's estate. He certainly assures his clients are represented well. I am grateful for his successfully bringing this suit to a satisfactory conclusion. In short, John's expertise has been awesome.
I am very grateful to Gary Mason for taking the initiative in filing suit against the manufacturers of defective CSST pipe. I am sure that this successful litigation will now help Maryland homeowners become aware of the danger of old style CSST pipe and to let them know what steps they may take to protect themselves against those dangers. Who knows how many lives and homes may be saved as a result of his efforts. Thank you Gary Mason for your important work in this litigation. I enjoyed working with him on this effort.