When Automated Calls Cross The Line From Annoying To Illegal And How You Can Protect Yourself

16 April 2021
 Categories: Law, Blog


Just about everyone with access to a phone has at one time or another answered the phone just to be greeted by an automated system that either aimed to sell them something or to collect on a debt. While there is no question that these calls certainly constitute an annoyance or inconvenience, many make actually go further and cross over into the territory of illegal behavior. This is because there are many federal and state laws in place that are designed to protect consumers against what is often referred to as telemarketer abuse. 

Telemarketer abuse refers to the use of automated phone dialing systems or robocalls that violate the terms of federal and state laws. Companies that are found guilty of intentionally committing these offenses can face serious fines for each call that violates the statutes which govern these types of calls. 

So what exactly makes an automated call illegal, and what can you do to help put an end to these annoying calls? The answers to these questions can be found below.

Taking Steps To Prevent These Calls

There are two key steps for you to take when looking to put an end to robocalls. First, if your phone number is not already listed on the federal do-not-call registry, you will want to immediately register for this list. This sends a clear message to telemarketers that you do not wish to be contacted without you making the first move to inquire about their products or services. 

Secondly, if you are contacted by any company that you do not wish to hear from again, it is important that you vocalize this. This means making sure that you actually tell the company not to call again rather than just disconnecting the call without expressly asking that they do not call back.

Making The Leap From Annoying To Illegal

There are very few exceptions that allow telemarketing companies to contact you if you have taken the steps outlined above. These exceptions include:

  • contacting you to inform you of an emergency situation such as an evacuation in your area or a school closing
  • contacting you on behalf of a tax-exempt non-profit organization
  • contacting you for a non-commercial purpose.

A company is also able to contact you if you have given your express consent for that company to call. However, you do retain the right to revoke this consent at any time either verbally or in writing. Any calls that do not fall into one of these exempt categories are potentially making the leap from annoying to illegal. 

What To Do If The Calls Continue

If you have taken the steps above and you find they are not effective in putting an end to the automated calls you have been receiving, you should reach out to a telemarketer abuse lawyer in your local area. These lawyers will not only be able to assist you with putting an end to the calls, but they will also be able to ensure that the company behind the calls is held liable for their actions and assist you in seeking compensation for the violation of your rights that these calls represent. 

Contact a firm like Heidarpour Law Firm to learn more.