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Report Telemarketer Abuse Make Them Pay (literally)

Facts About The Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991

The Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991 is one of many the efforts made by governmental agencies to fight harassing phone calls from telemarketing solicitors. Also called Public Law 102-243, it was designed to respond to increased citizen concerns about unauthorized access to personal information.

According to the law, financial compensation must be paid when companies are in violation of these regulation included. For the most part, all it takes is making sure one is signed up through the national “Do Not Call List” then tracking annoying calls. In fact, compensation of up to $500 per violation.

If enough compensation is paid to consumers, telemarketing companies will soon learn that these annoying phone calls are not only unwanted, but will end up costing more than they earn. Solicitation calls come in many forms such as through auto dialing, voice messaging, text messages, and even on fax machines. Through any of these forms of contact the law still applies.

There are several provisions which set limitations under these mandates. For instance, calls can only be made between the hours of 8am and 9pm. Once informed you are not on the “do not call list,” a violation occurs if a call is received within a 12-month period. If an additional call is made, the violation should be compensated. Additionally, companies must have clearly written policies about legal compliance which is available to anyone who requests it. Training programs must also be provided to all employees. This applies to all affiliates and subsidiaries of the original company as well.

It’s important to note that there are a few exceptions. For example, non-profit organizations are exempt from this type of solicitation as their livelihood often depends on it. Flyers that are mailed to a specific address do not violate the law even if mailed to “occupant.” Additionally, if a business relationship already exists, letters and calls of solicitation are allowed until such time as the company is notified in writing that contact should stop.

Some of the biggest violations come in the form of prerecorded voice mails generated by autodialers. This includes calls made to cell phone, pagers, or through the use of reverse charge services. To receive the compensation may take some time and effort, but is well worth the effort as it sends a clear message to telemarketing companies.

To receive compensation a name removal request needs to be filed through the courts first. Once granted an individual has the right to file a suit against the company for $500 in damages for each violation. With subsequent suits the court can award up to triple the amount requested. Complaints may also be filed with the Federal Communications Commission who can assess the penalties against companies and file a civil action for all the citizens involved.

Action must begin with individuals who are tired of receiving telemarketing phone calls by getting on the “Do Not Call List.” If calls persist then identifying the caller and keeping careful track will provide the ammunition needed to ensure positive results when suits are filed. Only by standing together will companies change unwanted practices.

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45 Responses to Report Telemarketer Abuse Make Them Pay (literally)

  1. Heather Renwick says:

    This is great, if you could list all the numbers at one time. If you have 15 calls from solicitors, you have to go through the whole routine 15 times. By the time you get that done, you have 15 new solicitors calling you. Our information should never be sold to anyone and the companies that sell it should be heavily fined. It is not their right to sell information about me that I in trusted to them in the first place.

    But thanks for the article.

  2. Iris Ortiz says:

    appeal for help

    I need to know how to connect with some one that can help me find the number of the person/politician or company that is harrasing me me. this time it’s been 5 days of
    calls every 15 to 30 minutes of calling. I have done some things to try and to get the company .no luck.
    can I bring this matter to a congress person .
    I am a senoir on limited income .
    Please, please advise me, thank you
    Iris

    • Sharon says:

      Have you tried the National Do Not Call Registry? I used to get solicitors all the time, but once I registered my home phone and cell phone as well, all calls have stopped. The number is 1-888-382-1222. Just call the # and it will prompt you to leave your #…it’s easy. Hope this helps. God Bless Sharon

  3. RealityCheck says:

    And if you go through the whole routine successfully, that is $500 per violation (not per call, each call can log multiple violations) per solicitor. Even if they only make one violation per call that is $7500 for 15 solicitors. However, if you do not think its worth the $7500, that’s fine. I used to make about $35,000 per year just of telemarketer violations until the word got around. Now I never get calls from companies I have not contracted for business.

    • LLM says:

      Oh, you made 35,000 a year off them, did you? Since it says right on the FCC site that these fines never go to the consumer, I’d like to know how.

      • JJP says:

        The article mentions the compensation here:
        “According to the law, financial compensation must be paid when companies are in violation of these regulation included. For the most part, all it takes is making sure one is signed up through the national “Do Not Call List” then tracking annoying calls. In fact, compensation of up to $500 per violation.

        If enough compensation is paid to consumers, telemarketing companies will soon learn that these annoying phone calls are not only unwanted, but will end up costing more than they earn. Solicitation calls come in many forms such as through auto dialing, voice messaging, text messages, and even on fax machines. Through any of these forms of contact the law still applies.”

        I’ve heard of others who made a few thousands also.

        • Ellen says:

          You absolutely did NOT make a dime. First off, I’m a career federal attorney and prosecutor. The fines for federal suits do NOT go to the consumer. Second, the odds of getting my office to take on a complaint this trivial are zero to none. And unless this is your full time job, filing suit in state court for alleged violations, you’re full of crap. And finally, it is NOT per call-it’s per violation. The site has the info so wrong I don’t even know where to start.

          • Sarah says:

            Then Ellen, my dear, attorney that you believe you are, why don’t you post the correct information to help consumers, instead of boasting about who you would like to be. It is extremely clear you are NOT an attorney. Contrary to what you have said, a consumer can file a suit for up to $1,500 for each violation of the TCPA or to recover actual monetary loss, whichever is higher. Additionally, the consumer can file an injunction against the company. So going to the Law School of Your Imagination does not in any way qualify you to be an attorney.

          • Sarah says:

            Additionally, Ellen dearie, even though the TCPA is a federal statute, suits by consumers are filed in STATE courts. Part of the statute states “A person or entity may, if otherwise permitted by the laws or rules of court of a State, bring in an appropriate court of that State.” Sorry Ellen, I had to call you out.

          • JustNo says:

            The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FCDPA) is the law which makes a person eligible for a $1500 per-violation fine under the appropriate circumstances falling under creditor harrassment. I am unaware of any collectible fines under the TCPA rules since annoying telephone solicitation doesn’t seem to bear the same importance to the government as unethical debt collections. As to the former, however, I have personally assisted over 30 people with suing IN COURT on a per-violation basis when a debt collector violates the rules through its calling practices. The biggest takedown was over $50,000. The key, though, is keeping a really good paper trail and starting off the calls the proper way so you don’t fall into the FDCPA loopholes which would effectively say you “acknowledged the debt” and therefore invited them to continue calling you- legally.

  4. Michele says:

    I got a call from 245-896-4256 @ 8:30 this morning. When I asked to taken off his calling list he asked “why?” (He had a persistent response to my every answer) Then he said “Not until you tell me what happened to you” or “why?” I finally said I’m going to report this number and I hung up. I’ve never had such a rude, persistent telemarketer. He was foreign. Creep!

    • LLM says:

      What we need is a website where we can go and post the phone numbers of these jerks and then all start calling THEM. When they answer, tell them you got their number off the web, and is Bubbles available for a little party later tonight? Then if they say you have the wrong number or something say, “Well, how about you? Are you available? We can provide the pole.” After about a dozen calls like this they’d probably change their number. Every time they call back, just put the new number up on the site so they have to change their number again. Even if it didn’t change things, it would cost them money, and if it cost them enough, maybe these rats would look into another way to advertise.

  5. entire public says:

    There should be an absolute law banning any and all and every type of telemarketing and telemarketing companies and buisnesses. No buisness should be allowed to call any persons home-cell phone. We have phone books and Google. If we need something we can call them. These telemarketing co’s do not take (NO) For an answere and keep calling 3-5+ times everyday. By Law if you tell a salesman or telemarketer (NO) 3 TIMES, any further calls after 3 is HARASSMENT!!! BY LAW. WE need a law to put all these telemarketing co’s OUT OF BUISNESS!!!

  6. entire public says:

    PROTEST AND VOTE TO (BAN ALL TELEMARKETING) Let’s take action and stop the Harassment and annoyance and invasion of privacy by telemarketing and telemarketers. They make big money to sell and trade our phone numbers and profit from sales they do make!!!

  7. Arlene says:

    this “do not call list” is not working because they still call us. They are calling us even as late as 10:30pm.

  8. me says:

    I’d like to see a DDOS (distributed denial of service) tool that consumers could get/use to flood telemarketers’ ip telephony phone servers.

  9. Cheryl says:

    I received a telemarketing call this morning at 3:48 AM from “Reverse Mortgage Direct”. My number has been on the “do not call list” for a couple of years and have notified this company in the past about that. I plan to pursue to the maximum.

  10. keeshon says:

    I don’t know how any can say that you can be monetarily compensated when the FCC says you can’t unless you go through state court (then maybe). I get these calls at least 10 times a day. Maybe 6 from the same caller. I’m fed up the “do not call list” is a joke as well. They just use different numbers to get around it.

  11. C V says:

    I am so tired of calls from telemarketers and solicitors. I want to know how to file for compensation from these telemarketers so I can help put a stop to these these calls. There have been times in the early morning or late night when I am sleeping at my best especially on weekends and at night when I am relaxing and my cell phone rings. This is the most annoying kind of call I could possibly receive. I have had it. Please reply……Thank you

  12. cold calling podcast says:

    Usually I do not learn article on blogs, however
    I would like to say that this write-up very pressured me to take a
    look at and do it! Your writing taste has been amazed me. Thank you, very nice article.

  13. Florida Mom says:

    504-206-3334 doesn’t stop calling me all days, all hours. Leaves sometimes an empty message. Very harassing. Mind you, they are using my work phone. Please stop these phone calls.

  14. Steve Hunt says:

    302-357-3787, at least that’s what caller ID said, called me at 400 am. First they need to fix it where the “true” number is reported. I have been on the no call list for several months. I block calls and this still stuff still is going on. The Law was inacted in 1991. Government inaction is still around. Polical incorrectness!!

  15. jason dekett says:

    How about 57 calls this week each time a request to stop calling because I’m on the list all looking for some chick named ashley, 32 text messages as well being polite and threats of legal,action has failed as has losing my temper and belittling these idiots! Personally I’m a caregiver for an elderly lady who’s daughter is in the last stages of life, i do not need this shit …. Today alone the same # from Los Angeles called me 6 times even after supposefly speaking politely with the supervisor i received 3 more calls2132262186

  16. B. G. and W.K. Scott says:

    Have more than 90 calls still on my telephone. Will you prosecute these telemarketers? Most are repeat callers, just different telephone numbers. You now have my e-mail number, so you can advise what e-mail number I may send you this list. Please help as we are elder citizens and it is beginning to cause health problems!!!!!

  17. I have been receiving calls from this # for over 2 weeks now. Yesterday I did answer it to tell them to take my # off that I was reporting them. The lady, who I could not understand, just hung up on me. Today, 2X I received calls from that # again. I told her to not call that I had already told someone yesterday and reported the #. Now what?? I am so sick of them calling me constantly. Help!!!

  18. markqusha says:

    50585408257 keep callling ans messaging

  19. Darlene says:

    US Med should be shut down & fined for all the harassing telemarketing calls that they are making to our household. I am so pissed off that this company is relentless about the number of calls that we receive on a daily basis. Like last evening, they called our home 3 times within 15 minutes, as we refuse to pick up the phone when we see that they are calling. The other morning, I was woken up @ 7:15 AM and the caller was babbling so fast; I explained he woke me up, so he hung up! Really, how much ruder can one be. They should be shut down, as they are cowardly and will not leave messages on answering machine. I am sick and tired of receiving calls as early as 7 AM and as late as 10:30 PM. I did not sign up for anything. They have been calling our home for the past 2 months daily – even on weekends! Here is a brief list of phone numbers that they have contacted us from: 414-877-5579, 609-318-9758, 714-551-9570, 321-289-3037, 602-753-5561, 830-531-3080,

  20. Keeper says:

    I was quite frustrated with an avalanche of calls over the Christmas period. After literally 15 calls in one day, I said enough. I did some searching on the internet and found the old telephone tones and downloaded one called SIT-VC.wav This is the tone that the telephone company plays to indicate the number is disconnected. I have a little voice recorder that has the tone and when I suspect a telemarketer from my caller id, I get it, and withing 5 seconds of the start of the call, I play it. All calls from that number ceased immediately. I still get occasional calls from new robo-dialers, but the same solution works. Time is very precious to these telemarketers so they don’t want to waste THEIR time calling disconnected numbers. Of course, our time is free to them. This has really worked for me, and it even works with the robo-dialers for politics and any other automated outbound calling system.

  21. Debbie says:

    It’s a soliciting from discover. I press one and say please take me off. They hang up. Please help. All day mostly in evening. 318-474-5828 same thing

  22. Rita Wozniak says:

    1-347-342-1834
    What a pain in the butt these people are.. you tell them NO and they hang up on you to just call back a few hours later.. TELL THEM TO TAKE YOUR NAME OFF THE CALLING LIST… still get calls.. WE DONT WANT YOUR PRODUCT.. STOP CALLING.. call again in a couple hours. at 9 am.. 11:45 am. 2:30 P.m. and 4:45 pm.. ones name is Megan.. I answer and wait for them to say hello.. they stumble across my name. ToLD them today you know you are harassing me.. i have told you to take this number off your call list… WHEN WILL THEY GET THE MESSAGE… i baby sit and they have woken up my grand babies.. even… WHAT EVER HAPPENED TO DONT CALL ME ILL CALL YOU?? just leave me alone already.. I dont need or want your product.. and trying to shove you calls down my throat dont help either.. i WILL NOT ANSWER UNAVAILABLE NUMBER CALLS OR UNASSIGNED… I DONT KNOW YOU AND DONT WANT TOO..

  23. Ray says:

    Telemarketer keeps calling/asking for participation in survey about phone service. I explained the do-not-call list only to hear Travis Williams exclaim “But that’s for telemarketers and we’re not telemarketers”, lol.

    They have called 4 times in the last 24 hours.

  24. Randy says:

    I favor making telemarketing illegal. I think the government should become active in stopping these abuses rather than having every individual having to do so much to register each complaint.

  25. Deb Beatty says:

    I cannot take the calls any longer 230-467-1758 and 446-717-5074

  26. I-k says:

    Abusive calls over 45 calls in thirty minutes then they asked for me by name and said f-u
    I have signed up for do not call list
    They call from
    1-202-697-7222
    1-202-455-8898
    1-201-283-9656
    1-604-298-4429 over 30-calls

    1-407-435-4855
    1-877-854-8431
    1-815-531-0680

  27. Don Messina says:

    I have been getting less and less calls. Here is what I do. I purchased a boat horn, which is powered by a compressed air can. Fans use them at the ball games. Now when a telemarketer calls I ask them if they know that I am on the do not call list, when they continue I blast the horn into the speaker. Of course they have headphones on. The family now fights to answer the phone.

    If life gives you lemons, make lemonade!!!!!!

  28. Lindsay Tice says:

    We have been getting constant calls from 360-633-9560 and last night they called us at 1:21 am and 1:55 am. I have requested to be placed on the do not call list and calling at those hours is ridiculous.

  29. Matthew Medow says:

    The following proves to work for me as a deterrent more often than not:

    “You have reached a number that is on the Federal ‘Do not Call List’. Our standard fee for receiving calls of this type is $25. We accept check, money order or Paypal. How will you be paying for this call?”

  30. Linda says:

    I have received 4 calls from 331.000.0001 wanting to reduce my credit card interest. Which I do not have. I requested each time to be removed from their calling list. Now they are calling my cell phone and I have to pay for their call. Enough already.

  31. Gary russell says:

    I have received multiple calls a day from 951-858-4759 , 701-771-9654, 763-428-4712 wanting to reduce my credit cards – they change their number Everytime they call me ! I have asked them a hundred times to not call my number again and they never stop ! This has been going on everyday for over 6 months – it needs to stop now !

  32. t says:

    lets all ban together and go to our congressmen and demand telemarketing be stopped, or lets start a legal department and sue these money hungry bastards
    better to just go along with what they are trying to sell and have them mail you the info so you have their legal contact info,then file the suit!!!
    lets dip into their pocketbooks

  33. Pam says:

    I have been getting so many calls. So now I make appointments. I ask for a call back number in case I need to reschedule etc. Sometimes I get a number. Then I let them know I have turned the number in when I call them back! if not I let them come to the appointment. I take a picture of the car license plate and tell them I now have your info. SO if you do not stop harassing me It will be turned in with your picture! LOL
    They are speechless!
    Gotta be creative sometimes!

  34. John maggio says:

    I have a persons who keeps asking for money from me .one is mike Wilson 20649958619.the other is james carter 17174479308.no.3. Is mike beaver .9636495443 .now it starting to be a Hassel

  35. G. Harri says:

    Every day I get a very pushy call from “Windows Tech Support” alleging an infection of my computer. When I challenge them, they admit they are not from Microsoft, but are from Windows Tech Support in Arizona. I demand that they not call again, but they still call daily. How do I stop these scammers?

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