Suing Telemarketers

Telemarketers sometimes have a hard time taking no for an answer.  The first step to ending the calls is to simply ask the telemarketer to stop calling you.  Once you ask, the telemarketer is required by law to stop calling.  Record the details of your request for it to stop calling such as the date, time, and person with whom you spoke, and take a picture of the caller ID for later use.  Writing a letter to the telemarketing company can also sometimes help stop the calls.  Then, if the telemarketer continues calling you have proof you asked for the calls to stop.

You should also put your telephone number on the federal do not call list.  Doing so will stop most reputable telemarketers (if there is such a thing).  For those who do not stop calling, inclusion of your number in the do not call registry provides you additional proof of wrongdoing and creates an additional cause of action against the telemarketer if you decide to sue.

If the steps above do not stop the calls, suing the telemarketer may be your only option.  Use caution, however.  If you have conducted business with the company in the last three months or have given it permission to call you, it is probably not violating the do not call rules until you tell it to stop calling.

You can also sue abusive telemarketers for calling you before 8:00 in the morning or after 9:00 at night, for using an automated dialer to call your cell phone, or failing to provide you a copy of their do not call policy when you request it.

If you sue a telemarketer you could receive a substantial award or settlement but only if you have all your ducks in a row.  Failing to have the required evidence or suing when the telemarketing company has a legal defense could blow up in your face.  If you successfully prove your case, the court can award you up to $500 in statutory damages per violation and, if the telemarketer willfully or knowingly violated the law, up to $1500 for each violation.

Such high statutory damages are powerful tools in the fight against abusive marketing calls but don’t dismiss the effectiveness of the do not call registry and asking callers to stop as good measures toward preventing the vast majority of these calls.  Either way, when you fight against these unwanted privacy intrusions properly, peace and quiet are the ultimate result.



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