TCPA Robocalls Lawsuit
The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) was enacted in 1991 to defend people from unwanted solicitation in the form of robocalls, autodials, telemarketers, invasive text messages, etc.
Many consumers have filed class action lawsuits against companies that unlawfully contacted them. Some have won millions of dollars.
The TCPA created a National Do Not Call Registry, in which consumers can enroll to prevent solicitors from contacting them. Companies and solicitors must honor a consumer’s Do Not Call registration permanently. (The term used to be five years.)
As per the TCPA, solicitors must provide their name, phone number, and address, and state on whose behalf they are calling. Other TCPA provisions prevent solicitors from calling before 8am or after 9pm, from using autodialers, and from using artificial recordings.
Unfortunately, countless companies ignore the TCPA and Do Not Call Registry. They still engage in robocalling, autodialing, and other unlawful practices, to the dismay of consumers. As a result, people have brought lawsuits against these companies, in some cases collecting thousands or even millions of dollars. (See below: “What Are Some Notable TCPA Lawsuits and Their Outcomes?”)
If you receive unwanted calls or messages from solicitors, our attorneys may be able to help you obtain compensation. We assist people who are wrongly contacted by a company looking for a different person, as well as those who were contacted after requesting that a company stop calling.
If you have questions about your rights under the TCPA, contact us today for a free legal consultation.
What Are Some Common TCPA Violations?
Autodials and robocalls. The law specifically prohibits companies from using autodialers to call people. An autodialer is any type of equipment or computer software that dials phone numbers without human intervention.
Even if a live person is on the other end of an unwanted call you receive, it is possible that the call was made using an autodialer. If you pick up the phone and are greeted by a pre-recorded message, the call was almost certainly made using an autodialer. In addition, calls made using autodialers frequently result in hang-ups or lengthy periods of “dead air” before a live person comes on the line.
If you receive a robocall from a telemarketer on your cellphone, and you never gave them express written consent (in the form of a written or electronic signature) to contact you, this too is a violation of the TCPA. If you told a telemarketer or debt collector that they had the wrong number, and they continue to contact you, this is a violation as well.
Furthermore, regardless of whether a telemarketer talks to the recipient or leaves a voicemail, he or she must provide an option for the recipient to opt out of the calls. When answering a call, this option must be given at the beginning of the message, and when leaving voicemails, telemarketers must provide toll-free call-back numbers so that recipients can add their phone numbers to a do-not-call list.
Robocallers must also provide their identities, phone numbers, and addresses. If they violate any of the above, they may be subject to litigation.
Are Political Robocalls Exempt from the TCPA?
Only for landlines. Political robocalls and prerecorded messages are still not permitted to cellphones. So, if you receive these kinds of calls or messages to your cellphone, you may be eligible for a lawsuit.
What Kind of Entities Can I Sue for Robocalling?
Consumers may be able to file lawsuits against the following types of institutions:
- Debt collectors
- Credit card companies
- Student loan companies
- Mortgage companies
- Check-cashing companies
- Anyone calling to inform you that you have “won” a sweepstakes, free cruise, etc.
Our attorneys specifically want to hear from consumers who have received robocalls from any of the following companies:
- ADT Security
- All American Medical Supply II, Inc.
- Ally Financial
- American Collection Services
- Asset Acceptance
- Bank of America
- Capital One
- Check Mart
- Collection Information Bureau
- Commonwealth Financial Systems
- Dependable Diabetic Supply, LLC
- Dish Network
- Drive Time
- E Title Loans
- Enhanced Recovery Company
- GC Services
- GE Money/GENPAC
- GE Retail Capital Bank
- Gila LLC
- Global Healthcare Management LLC
- Green Tree
- Heritage Diabetic Supply
- IC Systems
- iYogi, Inc.
- Mark One
- Midland Credit Management
- National Credit Adjustments
- Ocwen Financial
- One Source Medical Supply, LLC
- P&B Capital
- Palisades Collection
- Pendrick Capital Partners
- Pinnacle Security LLC
- Portfolio Recovery Associates
- Resurgent Capital
- Sallie Mae
- Saracare LLC
- Spectrum Diabetic Supply
- US Fast Cash
- S. Healthcare Supply LLC
- Verizon Wireless
- Wells Fargo
What Are Some Notable TCPA Lawsuits and Their Outcomes?
The most famous TCPA settlement occurred in August 2014, when Capital One (and three collection agencies) agreed to pay $75.5 million to end a class action suit that arose from Capital One’s use of an autodialer to call consumers’ cellphones.
Here are the five largest TCPA settlements in history:
- Caribbean Cruise Line: up to $76 million (Sep. 2016)
- Capital One: $75.5 million (Aug. 2014)
- US Coachways: $49.9 million (Nov. 2016)
- AT&T Mobility: $45 million (Oct. 2014)
- HSBC: $40 million (Sep. 2014)
Some other notable TCPA settlements include:
- Bank of America: $32 million (Sep. 2014)
- Midland Credit: $20.5 million (July 2016)
- Wells Fargo: $16.3 million (July 2016)
- Cynosure Inc.: $16 million (Feb. 2017)
- Wells Fargo: $15.7 million (Feb. 2017)
- Life Time Fitness: $15 million (Feb. 2015)
- Wells Fargo: $14.5 million (Dec. 2014)
- American Eagle: $14.5 million (Dec. 2016)
- Walgreens: $11 million (Mar. 2015)
- Millward Brown: $11 million (Mar. 2015)
- American Express: $9.25 million (July 2016)
In January 2017, a North Carolina jury hammered Dish Network with a $20.5 million award in a class action case filed because of 51,000 telemarketing calls. The jury awarded plaintiffs $400 per call.
Lead plaintiff Dr. Thomas Krakauer said, “This case has always been about enforcing the Do Not Call law and protecting people from nuisance telemarketing calls. I am thrilled with the jury’s verdict, and thrilled we were able to win this enforcement action.”
U.S. District Judge Catherine C. Eagles tripled the award to $61 million.
Four months later, U.S. District Judge Catherine C. Eagles tripled that award to $61 million, saying that Dish Network “repeatedly looked the other way” while its employees made unlawful calls.
Shortly thereafter, in June 2017, U.S. District Judge Sue Myerscough ordered Dish Network to pay a $280 million penalty to the federal government and four states. The government’s investigation determined that Dish had made 55 million unlawful calls to consumers.
Who Is Eligible for a Lawsuit?
Any person who has been on the receiving end of calls or messages that are in violation of the TCPA may be able to file a lawsuit and seek compensation up to $1,500 per illegal robocall.
If you never gave a company express written consent, or if you enrolled in the Do Not Call Registry, or if you told the solicitor that they had the wrong number and/or asked them to stop calling, and they continue to solicit you, you may have a case.
What Should I Look for in an Attorney?
Experience, ethics, and grit. Our firm has never represented an insurance company or large corporation; that’s why our motto is “For the People.” We battled Big Tobacco for years, winning $90 million in verdicts and settlements.
We are one of the few firms with the resources to take on Capital One, Wells Fargo, and other companies of this stature.
As one of the largest consumer protection firms in the country, with 300 attorneys and a support staff of over 1,500 people, we are one of the few with the resources to take on Capital One, Wells Fargo, and other companies of this stature. We are trial lawyers who are not afraid to go up against big corporations, and we have the track record to prove it.
Under the TCPA, individuals must provide express consent to receive certain types of calls. Consumers have the right to tell these companies—including debt collectors—to stop calling.
For each unwanted call, a consumer may be able to collect between $500 and $1,500.
How Much Does It Cost?
We abide by the contingency fee contract. This means that we will only collect if the case is successful, in which case we accept a fixed percentage (typically one-third) of the recovery.