The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) allows the consumer to stop debt collectors and Telemarketers from robo-dialing their phones. This law makes it illegal for debt collectors to robo-dial and/or computer dial calls and/or send text messages to cell phones and /or to use pre-recorded or computer generated messages.
The offenders must pay between $500-1,500 per call when caught.
The damages in these cases can add up quick. For example, in February 2015, Capitol One bank and its debt collector Leading Edge Recovery were ordered to pay $75,000,000.00 to class members and HSBC was ordered to pay $40,000,000.00 in separate class action.
The FTC has created a video which explains and instructs a consumer on what to do when receiving robo-calls. Kati Daffan, an attorney at the Federal Trade Commission states:
If you have a telephone, robocalls may be ruining your day. If you answer the phone and hear a recorded message instead of a live person, it’s a robocall. If the recording is a sales message and you haven’t given your written permission to get calls from the company on the other end, the call is illegal period.
So when you get an illegal robocall, here’s what to do. Hang up the phone. Don’t press one to speak to a live operator. And don’t press any other number to get off the list. If you respond by pressing any number, it will probably just lead to more robocalls.
You might consider contacting your phone provider and asking them to block the number and whether they charge for that service. Remember that telemarketers change caller ID information easily and often. So it might not be worth paying a fee to block a number that will change.
Finally, contact the FTC to report your experience. You can do that online at www.ftc.gov or by calling 1-877-FTC-HELP. To learn more about illegal robocalls and what the FTC is doing to stop them, visit ftc.gov/robocalls. That’s ftc.gov/robocalls.
For more information go to: http://www.consumer.ftc.gov/media/video-0028-what-do-if-you-get-robocall
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