People who received robocalls on their cell phones.
What's Going On?
Attorneys working with ClassAction.org are filing lawsuits on behalf of people who were robocalled by major companies and debt collectors.
What You Can Do About It:
If you're getting robocalls or telemarketing calls on your cell phone, speak with an attorney in your area about whether you can file a lawsuit. Unfortunately, the attorneys working with ClassAction.org are no longer looking into these cases.
What Could I Get From a Lawsuit?
Through a lawsuit, you may be entitled to $500 to $1,500 per phone call.
What Else Do I Need to Know?
If you are receiving unsolicited calls, be sure to hold onto any messages left on your phone. Any records you keep may make it easier for you to file a claim and receive compensation for the unwanted calls.
DirecTV, Hilton Worldwide, State Farm and a number of other companies have been hit with class action lawsuits alleging they broke federal law by making unwanted and illegal robocalls to consumers.
According to a federal law known as the Telephone Consumer Protect Act (TCPA), businesses – including both telemarketers and debt collectors – must receive express, written consent before they can start robocalling people. When a company fails to receive this consent, anyone who has been illegally autodialed may be able to receive up to $1,500 per phone call.
Who Can I Sue for Telemarketing Calls?
Attorneys working with ClassAction.org are looking to help consumers who received unwanted calls to their cell phones file lawsuits against major companies and debt collectors.
These may include:
Credit card companies
Check cashing companies
Banks and mortgage lenders
Student loan companies
Unfortunately, litigation against scam artists – including those offering free prizes or sweepstakes – usually isn’t viable, as there must be a known company for you to sue. Furthermore, calls to home phones usually aren’t illegal unless the telemarketer is calling before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m.
What About Debt Collection Companies?
Debt collection companies are required to receive express written consent from consumers before making robocalls. In addition, debt collectors must comply with do-not-call requests, even if the recipient owes money to the company.
You may be able to file a claim against the debt collection company if you asked them to stop calling and the company did not listen (even if you owe them money) or if you were contacted by error (i.e., the company had the wrong phone number).
Family Members, Friends Can Sue Debt Collectors, Too
While many debt collectors are protected against being sued by the debtor himself (all due to arbitration clauses), they are not immune to TCPA lawsuits if they robocall a friend or family member of a debtor.
TCPA Violations: Have These Lawsuits Been Successful?
Yes. The TCPA is very clear when it comes to rules companies must abide by when autodialing people.
Here are some recent settlements against companies accused of making illegal robocalls:
Bank of America had to pay out $32 million to resolve claims it placed harassing debt collection calls to its customers’ mobile phones
Sallie Mae paid out $24 million to resolve claims it violated the TCPA
Discover agreed to a $16 million settlement to resolve a lawsuit that alleged it placed robocalls to customers’ cell phones without receiving proper consent
ADT paid out $15 million to resolve claims it placed robocalls to cell phones about their products and services
Walgreens agreed to an $11 million settlement to resolve claims it violated federal law when making unwanted robocalls to pharmacy customers
Chase Bank paid out more than $10 million to settle a lawsuit that claims it made robocalls to more than 2 million customers’ cell phones without proper consent
Receiving Automated Phone Calls? Here’s What You Can Do
If you’re receiving unwanted robocalls on your cell phone, get in touch with an attorney in your area. If you never gave the company/telemarketer permission to call you, you may be able to join the thousands of consumers who have joined together to receive compensation for these unwanted, harassing phone calls. Be sure to save any messages you received from the autodialer to make filing a TCPA claim easier and remember – each unwanted phone call could be worth up to $1,500.