The Roper Law Firm

Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA)

Has your evening quiet time or dinner been interrupted by a call from a telemarketer (or maybe a debt collector with a robo-dial device? If so, you are not alone.

Congress first passed the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) in 1991 in response to consumer concerns about the growing number of unsolicited telephone marketing calls to their homes and the increasing use of automated and prerecorded messages.

In response, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) adopted rules that require anyone making a telephone solicitation call to your home to provide:

  • His or her name;
  • The name of the person or entity on whose behalf the call is being made; and
  • A telephone number or address at which that person or entity can be contacted.

The original rules also prohibit telephone solicitation calls to your home before 8 am or after 9 pm, and require telemarketers to comply with any do-not-call request you make directly to the caller during a solicitation call. Telemarketers covered by the National Do-Not-Call Registry have up to 31 days from the date that you register your telephone number to remove it from their call lists and stop calling you.

In June 2003, the FCC supplemented its original rules implementing the TCPA and established, together with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and you can access it at: The National Do-Not-Call Registry.

Once you have placed your home phone number or numbers, including any personal wireless phone numbers, on the national Do-Not-Call registry, callers are prohibited from making telephone solicitations to those number(s). Your number or numbers will remain on the list until you remove them or discontinue service – there is no need to re-register numbers.

The national Do-Not-Call list protects home voice or personal wireless phone numbers only. While you may be able to register a business number, your registration will not make telephone solicitations to that number unlawful. Similarly, registering either a home or business fax number will not make sending a fax advertisement to that number unlawful, but the FCC has separate rules that prohibit unsolicited fax advertisements under most circumstances.

There are specific rules ans well as expemtions related to:

  • Tax-exempt non-profit organizations
  • From a person or organization with which you have an established business relationship (EBR);
  • Company-Specific Do-Not-Call Lists;
  • State Do-Not-Call Lists;
  • Automatic Telephone Dialing Systems and Artificial or Prerecorded Voice Calls;

If you have caller ID, a telemarketer is required to transmit or display its phone number and, if available, its name or the name and phone number of the company for which it is selling products. The display must include a phone number that you can call during regular business hours to ask that the company no longer call you. This rule applies even if you have an EBR with the company, and even if you have not registered your home phone number(s) on the national Do-Not-Call list. Before these rules took effect, the words “private,” “out of area” or “unavailable” might have appeared on the Caller ID display.

If you are being harassed or being subjected to other forms of Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) Violations, seek the experience of professional legal counsel who may assist you in stopping the harassment or repeated violations, and when necessary, provide professional and aggressive litigation against Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) offenders.

If you believe you have been the victim of a Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) Violation (or violations), find out what your legal responsibilities and rights are by contacting The Roper Law Firm.