Thu, Jan 3, 2019

Telephone Consumer Protection Act

The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) was passed in 1991 in response to the unprecedented rise in automated phone and fax solicitations that occurred as a result of advances in technology. Since the TCPA was signed into law, companies across every industry have faced legal repercussions for violation of the law. Thousands of consumer class action lawsuits have been filed against financial institutions, collections agencies, health care companies, retailers, and more. With settlements involving thousands of claimants and escalating into the tens of millions of dollars, top attorneys involved in TCPA settlements partner with Kroll Settlement Administration to handle the class action notice and administration of complex TCPA matters.

What Is the Telephone Consumer Protection Act?

The Telephone Consumer Protection Act placed a number of strict restrictions on telemarketing that uses automatic dialing systems, voice messaging, robocalls, fax, and SMS messaging. The law is meant to protect consumers from daily solicitations they could not otherwise avoid.

How does the TCPA affect consumers?

The TCPA restrictions are specific. For instance, the law:

  • Prohibits calling consumers before 8 a.m. and after 9 p.m. local time.
  • Orders solicitors to honor company-specific “do-not-call” lists as well as the national Do Not Call Registry.
  • Prohibits unsolicited advertising faxes.
  • Requires solicitors to state their name, reveal the identity of the organization on whose behalf they are calling, and provide the telephone number or address of the appropriate contact
  • Emergency lines for doctor’s offices, hospitals, and nursing care services are strictly off-limits for advertisers.


How does the TCPA affect businesses?

TCPA violators face fines from $500 to $1,500 for each violation or a recovery of monetary loss, whichever is greater. Companies have raised several defenses against allegations of violation, including:

  • What is the statute of limitations for filing?
  • Should there be a cap on damages?
  • Can businesses apply good-faith remedies to avoid litigation?
  • What capacity constitutes an “auto-dialer?”
  • How does plaintiff counsel identify class members prior to certification?

Many of these questions are resolved on a case-by-case basis, depending on the point in time the case is filed and in what jurisdiction. We continue to pay close attention to how these questions are resolved in court.

The number of TCPA lawsuits has ballooned from 266 in 2010 to over 4,163 in 2016, revealing a readiness for consumers and attorneys to engage in this type of litigation.

TCPA Cases We’ve Administered

Kroll Settlement Administration has administered many large-scale TCPA cases, including:

Mohamed v. Off Lease Only, Inc. [Case No. 1:15cv23352MGC, Southern District of Florida]

Plaintiffs alleged defendants American Motor Company and Off Lease Only, Inc. sent class members unsolicited text messages based upon information scraped from advertisements Craigslist. Kroll Settlement Administration worked to reverse engineer the scraping process in order to notify potential class members of the settlement, and used an additional tool to determine if the phone number was a mobile or a landline phone.

Murray v. Bill Me Later, Inc. [Case No. 12-cv-04789, Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division]

The suit alleged Bill Me Later, Inc. used an automatic dialing system to contact people via telephone without their express consent, a violation of the TCPA. The class was made up of anyone who got a phone call from Bill Me Later between June 15, 2008 and July 24, 2014.

Zoey Bloom v. Jenny Craig Inc. [Case No. 1:18-cv-21820, Southern District of Florida]

The plaintiff alleged Jenny Craig violated the TCPA when it allegedly texted class members without express consent to do so. Class members who received a text message from Jenny Craig between May 7, 2017 and Sept. 6, 2018. A settlement of $3 million was announced to resolve claims by a potential class of 628,610 members.

Cabiness v. Educational Financial Solutions [Case No. 3:16-cv-01109, Northern District of California]

Plaintiff Winifred Cabiness sought a $10,000 service award as the class representative in the action against Education Financial Solutions for allegedly auto-dialing consumers with advertisements and promotions related to campus debt solutions. The court reached a $1.1 million settlement with the defendant. In administering the class, our team located 18,975 mailing addresses and 21,845 email addresses, established a toll-free telephone number, and a website providing information about the proposed settlement.

Get Help Administering Your TCPA Case

If you are engaged in a case pertaining to the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, make the wise investment and place your trust in a leading class action claims administrator. Contact Kroll Settlement Administration for a complimentary consultation.

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