About the Telephone Consumer Protection Act
The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) was enacted by Congress in the early 1990s to protect consumers from unsolicited text messages, prerecorded and/or autodialed telephone calls (“robocalls”) and junk faxes.
The TCPA is a powerful consumer privacy tool, it imposes fines of $500 for each violation and up to $1,500 for violations found to be willful and knowing.
Who Does the TCPA Protect?
The TCPA protects several different groups of consumers, including:
Cell Phone Users: The TCPA protects cell phone users who receive unsolicited text messages, prerecorded solicitation calls and autodialed solicitation calls. Autodialed calls are often recognizable by a delay of a few seconds at the beginning of the call. The TCPA also protects individual cell phone users who receive solicitation calls (robocalls or live calls) when their number is registered with the National Do Not Call List.
Residential Landline Users: The TCPA protects residential landline phone users who receive prerecorded solicitation calls. The TCPA also protects individuals who receive solicitation calls (robocalls or live calls) when their number is registered with the National Do Not Call List.
Fax Machine Users (Including Businesses): The TCPA prohibits sending unsolicited fax advertisements. In addition to prohibiting these advertisements, the TCPA requires that all advertisements sent via fax include specific information about the sender as well as instructions on how to stop receiving further advertisements by fax.
Some Exceptions Apply: Not all unsolicited robocalls, texts and faxes violate the TCPA. For example, some communication sent by non-profit organizations and emergency services agencies are exempt from the TCPA. Also, if a consumer provides consent or if the consumer has a relationship with the sender, the communication may be exempt from the TCPA.