A violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) can lead to hundreds of thousands of dollars in penalties. How can this law result in such a big financial hit to businesses? In large part, because the regulation is written to allow for a fee for each violation and defines each violation as any call, text, fax, or contact.
When it comes to robocalls to cell phones and residential lines, this can mean $500 or more per contact.
Do the courts really apply this law?
Yes. Previous cases have led to businesses paying huge sums of money to settle allegations of a violation. In one example, a business was forced to pay a consumer over $147,000 for multiple robocalls and in another, a court ordered a business to pay a consumer $3.86 million for sending 7,725 unsolicited fax advertisements.
How can I help my business avoid a violation?
The old adage that knowledge is half the battle holds true when it comes to avoiding a TCPA violation. Taking the time to train your workforce about this regulation can help mitigate the risk of a violation. It is also important to take the time to clean out and update old data. Old contacts for previous clients may no longer be accurate. Even if they are, that client may no longer wish for contact and reaching out could result in a TCPA violation. As such, it is helpful to review your client contact list and update it, with TCPA compliance in mind, on a regular basis.
If you are using a call center for marketing purposes, complete due diligence to make sure the facility follows the TCPA. This is important because, as we discussed in a previous post available here, you can be held liable if the call center is found in violation of the TCPA.
What if my business is accused of a TCPA violation?
Do not take the accusation lightly. As noted above, it can lead to steep financial penalties that could cripple your business. Instead, investigate and build a defense to better ensure your business interests are protected.