Cell phones are inescapable in the modern world. Most of us have them with us at all times, always on. As convenient as they are for us, they are just as convenient a tool for Telemarketers, debt collectors and creditors to reach you anywhere, anytime. And of course, even if the “robo-caller” is dialing the wrong number, that does not mean it will stop.
Automated Telephone Dialing Systems (a/k/a “robots”) are designed to place more calls than a human being can alone make. Sometimes these calls just keep coming, even though the callers are legally required to stop when asked. Cell phone communications are just too easy and effective not to abuse.
In response, Congress enacted the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). The TCPA prohibits telemarketers, creditors and collectors from making auto-dialed or pre-recorded calls to your cell phone without your prior express consent – or at any time after you revoke that consent by asking them to stop. The penalties for violation of the TCPA are significant, and are assessed on a “per-call” basis of $500.00 per call made. For calls that knowingly or willfully violate the TCPA, that penalty can be increased to as much as $1,500.00 per call.
Because these calls are automatically dialed (sometimes at a rate of several per day) the total per call penalty can quickly run into tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars. And these penalties are for placing the calls. If a creditor or collector speaks with consumer (or anyone in the household) and attempts to collect the debt, additional damages may be available under the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), or South Carolina Code Section 37-5-108. And, if you previously filed a bankruptcy and the calls relate to a discharged debt, you may have even more rights under federal bankruptcy law.
If you’re being harassed on your cell phone, contact us. We’re here to protect your right to cell phone privacy.