Robocalls and Junk Faxes
Robocalls and junk faxes are unwanted and unauthorized automated messages that are delivered to a person or company. These messages are often provided by telemarketing companies and political party campaigns. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) helps enforce the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) to assist people in ending unwanted phone calls, text messages, and faxes.
Telephone and fax solicitation providers must receive consent from the consumer to send messages. It is illegal for solicitation companies to send out messages and use a consumers telephone minutes or fax paper and toner without permission. The TCPA requires any company sending out a solicited message to provide the name of the company, the name of the company the call is representing, a return contact phone number, and address at which the company can be reached. Phone calls are not allowed to be made before 8 am or after 9 pm. Companies are also required to provide consumers with a do not call or do not message option to unsubscribe from the unwanted robocalls, text messages, and junk faxes. Opting out of these unwanted message must be free and available to the consumer 24 hours a day.
Robocalls and junk faxes are not allowed to contact a consumer after unsubscribing from a message. Consumers are instructed to record the phone number or the address of the distributor to help ensure any future unwanted messages are not from the same contact. If the messages continue to be delivered from the same provider after unsubscribing, then the consumer is protected under the TCPA and can contact a consumer lawyer for assistance.
Consumers can file a complaint about an unwanted and unauthorized telephone message through the National Do Not Call Registry at www.donotcall.gov. The National Do Not Call Registry is provided by the Federal Trade Commission and consumers can register any number to help prevent future robocalls.
There are automated messages that do not violate the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). Messages from schools regarding delays, closings and emergencies do not violate the TCPA. Prerecorded messages and faxes regarding future medical visits and prescriptions pick ups are usually authorized by the consumer when visiting a medical professional. Flight information is also often not a violation of the TCPA.