The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) is a 1991 federal law intended to fight the incessant “robocalls” and abusive telemarketers that have plagued consumers for decades.
Unfortunately, a strict interpretation of the law exposes thousands of businesses that use phone and fax to contact prospective and current customers, and ‘bounty hunter’ attorneys are targeting with lawsuits based on just a single call. This aggressive litigation is mostly aimed at extracting settlements from law-abiding companies that want to avoid costly court cases that could result in verdicts awarding millions of dollars of uncapped statutory damages.
The bottom line: if you contact prospective or current customers by phone, including by text message or with pre-recorded calls, or via fax for marketing or transactional reasons (including collections), you may have unwittingly created an expensive problem for yourself under the TCPA if you failed to first secure the consent of the call recipient.
And guess what? No injury must be suffered by a potential plaintiff; the unsolicited contact alone is enough to trigger the TCPA. Not only that, but there is a four-year statute of limitations to allege violations, so these ‘bounty hunter’ attorneys are looking back through target company histories to find business activity that may be actionable.
Compounding this increased threat of legal action, the TCPA has not been consistently interpreted by courts across the U.S., and the Federal Communications Commission continues to issue new and different rules under the statute regularly.
Businesses that use phone and fax to contact prospective and current customers, or that have done so within the past four years should evaluate their potential exposure to TCPA litigation and prepare to address potential consequences.
Harris Bricken’s TCPA corporate attorneys and litigators are experts in building TCPA defense and compliance plans and in developing strategies against individual and class TCPA claims. Prior to the emergence of any TCPA litigation threat or demand letter, we prepare or revise existing standard telecommunication operating procedures and collaborate with clients’ marketing teams and strategists to implement processes to mitigate the risk of future litigation under the TCPA – without undermining our clients’ marketing goals. Our litigation team has also successfully defended TCPA cases across the West Coast and helped victims of frivolous claims achieve quick and cost-efficient resolutions.