Guest Column: Dealing with robocalls
Jami Oliver, Attorney
In the days of technology our cell phones play a huge role in the everyday activities of our lives. It is imperative to the individual that their numbers remain private so they can live uncluttered from contestant spamming. Robocalls are an illegal and irritating way for companies to spam us with unnecessary advertisements. This unwanted solicitation has made people completely fed up with this process and has lead to class action lawsuits across America.
Though the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) has created penalties for these companies at a charge of $500 per illegal call or up to $1,500 per call in the case of purposefully violating the TCPA (Telephone Consumer Protection Act), this doesn’t always dissuade such activities.
The FCC has imposed new rules on companies for the actions they must take before making a telemarketing call to your landline telephone or your cell phone. This includes prerecorded telemarketing, autodial calls and/or texts. These new rules require that each individual company must receive your written consent to take such actions, even if they have already established a business relationship with you.
Various other rules involve things such as the opt-out function that must make you aware at the outset of the call and be available through the entire call. What this means is that you will no longer need to hang up to make a separate call in order to request the ceasing of further telemarketing robocalls.
How to Protect Yourself:
Both the FCC and the FTC, created a national Do-Not-Call-List in conjunction with the TCPA. Putting your home or wireless number on this list prohibits telemarketers from contacting you with any such marketing guise. This helps in creating more privacy for the consumer unless they give their written permission.
Don’t press the keys
Sometimes by pressing any key when a robocall is attempted on your number, whether instructed to do so even when the option is to opt out, can create further attempts at your number. The majority of robocalls attempts are used on auto selected numbers that are not a personal or individual attempt to contact you. That means that the system doesn’t know if your number is an actual working number or not. By pressing buttons you could be acknowledging that your number is a valid contact to make further attempts.
Block the Numbers
Contacting your cell phone provider and blocking the number that had contacted you is an effective way to reduce these calls. Beware of paying for this service as many of the numbers that are used to contact you are falsified and constantly changing.
Although it may seem a bigger hassle to follow through with the removal of these calls, by contacting the FTC and reporting the alleged number helps everyone by assisting in the necessary lawful actions taken against these criminals. By helping the FTC identify violators, you not only help yourself but the privacy of American society as a whole.
The End in Sight
Though there are many different ways to go about protecting yourself, you may find that it is necessary to be a part of class and collective lawsuits. Contact your local law firms to find out how to participate in these proceedings and seek compensation for the wrongs done to you through the negligence and intentional actions of others. If you feel at the end of your rope with harassment, take action and make a difference!
Columbus Attorney, Jami Oliver, understands the frustration phone spammers can cause and can help you take action against harmful and persistent robocalling. Visit her website, joliverlawoffices.com, for more information.