Debt collectors and creditors often use what is called an autodialer to make calls to consumers. One of the ways you can tell an autodialer is being used is that when you answer the call you will experience a slight delay before a live person actually comes on the phone. There are several reasons creditors and debt collectors use autodialers, but one of them is that it allows them to pepper a consumer with calls when the consumer isn’t answering. This can be harassing, but you can make them stop.
A debt collector needs what is called “prior express consent” to legally use an autodialer to call your cell phone. Typically, this prior express consent is obtained when you list your cell phone number on the paperwork when you arrange a business or credit transaction. But your consent can easily be revoked or retracted simply by informing the business calling you that you no longer wish to receive phone calls from them. It can be done either orally or in writing. This won’t necessarily stop autodialed calls to a landline, but it SHOULD stop autodialed calls to a cell phone. If it doesn’t, each call thereafter may be a violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”) and could be worth at least $500 PER CALL.
For more information about the TCPA or to submit your potential TCPA claim for review, please visit my website at www.indianaconsumerlawgroup.com.