The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) was intended to curb the proliferation of telemarketers and debt collectors who used automated dialing systems. These systems would allow companies to bombard consumers with a large number of calls. In addition to the annoyance and harassment of receiving so many phone calls, there was the prospect that based on cell phone subscription plans these calls could be increasing a consumer’s cell phone bill.

The TCPA prevents telemarketers and debt collectors from calling at odd hours, calling consumers after they have instructed the caller to stop, using automated / artificial voice or recordings, and failing to provide the name / identity of the caller.

The most common TCPA claims come from “wrong number” callers. If you get a new phone number and get calls from companies attempting to collect a previous owner’s debt, you probably have a TCPA claim against that company. If you have previously told them to “stop calling” or this is the “wrong number” then you can argue that the company willfully violated the TCPA.

Under the TCPA a consumer is entitled to seek actual damages or $500 per violation, whichever is greater. If the violation is willful, the amount increases to $1,500 per violation. (If you have ten phone calls to your cell phone after you tell a company to stop calling that could mean up to $15,000 in damages.)

If you are receiving annoying phone calls, whether intended for you or not, please contact the attorneys at Marso & Michelson at 612-821-4817 to discuss your options

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