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Violations

legal professionals interacting, a gavel on a desk

In order to avoid violating telemarketing regulations, you must understand what sorts of actions constitute a violation.

Is it a TCPA violation to call about a for sale by owner real estate listing?

As an agent, you may contact a seller marketing a for sale by owner (FSBO) property about your client’s potential interest in purchasing the property, even if that seller’s number is on the National Do Not Call (DNC) Registry. The pitfall is that as a buyer’s representative, you may only discuss your client’s interest in the property. You cannot use your client’s interest as a way to solicit the listing. Doing so puts you in violation of DNC regulations.

What are some particular TCPA vulnerabilities for B2B callers?

Businesses that conduct Business-to-Business (B2B) marketing should be aware of the following vulnerabilities specific to their manner of business:

Dual Purpose (Mixed Business & Personal Use) Lines
B2B marketers should be checking their data against state and federal consumer Do Not Call (DNC) lists to reduce the risk of calling or texting dual purpose phone lines.

Who do TCPA litigators target?

Litigators will often target companies with particular, perceived vulnerabilities. Among the sorts of targets for unscrupulous litigators are the following:

Companies with Deep Pockets
Large companies are often targets of large Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) lawsuits, resulting in very large payouts.

Companies with a History of TCPA Lawsuits
Once a company has paid out a large settlement or judgment for TCPA violations, it can attract more litigators, like sharks drawn to blood in the water.

What are some TCPA litigator tricks?

Unscrupulous Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) litigators and professional plaintiffs often make use of a deep bag of tricks to induce costly TCPA violations. Some of their more frequent and damaging techniques are as follows:

Dual-Purpose Phone Lines
Sometimes referred to as “mixed-use” lines. Litigators will use one phone number for both business and personal purposes, potentially entrapping marketers who believe they are making calls to a business line when, in fact, it is a personal line for TCPA purposes.

What happens if I violate the TCPA?

The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) contains a private right of action, which means a private individual is legally entitled to enforce the statute, often in small claims court. As a result, TCPA violations are enforced through individual lawsuits and class actions. This is the primary enforcement mechanism for the TCPA but it is also possible that states can initiate civil actions against offenders. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) also has the authority to assess penalties for TCPA violations.