Junk Calls and Emails and Faxes and Text Messages
Put An End To Harassing Calls And Junk Mail and Junk Faxes and Unsolicited Text Messages!
In today’s world, email is all around us. Between home and work, we are inundated with electronic mail messages. Junk emails clog up inboxes and require your time in reading and reviewing (or deleting) them. Junk faxes waste your paper and fax machine’s toner. Unwanted and repetitive phone messages at home and on your mobile phone can count against your minutes or airtime. And repeated, unwanted text messages can be innately and incessantly repulsive. Not to mention receiving any or all of these forms of continued correspondence can be downright annoying.
- To reduce the number of unsolicited communications you receive, be sure to register for the National Do Not Call Registry. You can register your home and mobile/cellular phone numbers on the Registry and your registration does not expire.
- Print and keep (electronic and paper versions) all junk emails you receive.
- Save all junk faxes and recorded messages/voicemails you receive as these items can be valuable evidence to prove your claims. Relevant statutes often award damages and impose penalties based on the number of items of correspondence you receive.
- Keep all correspondence between you and the responsible party that relates to your requests to cease and desist the junk activity.
The federal Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) prohibits sending unsolicited advertisements via fax, and disseminating prerecorded messages by phone, without consumers’ prior consent. The TCPA also allows recipients to sue the businesses that send junk faxes and junk recordings. But note the TCPA is a somewhat dense and complex law as it requires the use of an automated telephone dialing system (ATDS) for you to have a valid claim. The law as to what constitutes an ATDS is unsettled and frequently changing. For this reason it behooves the consumer to contact an experienced attorney for a consultation in these cases.
NOTE: One key fact to remember is that a person or business with whom you had an established business relationship is able to send you unsolicited advertising to your fax machine without your consent at any time for any product or service whatsoever (including other people’s products) as long as certain conditions are met.
North Carolina Law
North Carolina residents have the benefit of an especially powerful tool against certain unsolicited phone calls and text messages. The North Carolina Telephone Solicitations Act prevents vexing phone calls and text messages but there are some exceptions including:
- Calling from a tax-exempt non-profit organization
- Calling to sell subscription to a newspaper
- Where the caller has the prior express consent of the consumer
- Where the caller has an established business relationship with the consumer
- Calling to set up a face-to-face meeting with the consumer so long as the call involves no selling of goods or services
Outside of the exceptions listed in the Act, these annoying phone calls and texts are prohibited. Statutory damages can add up quickly in the case of repeated calls or text messages: $500 for first call, $1,000 for second call, and $5,000 for each additional call. If you have questions about whether the Act applies to you and otherwise need to talk to an experienced lawyer contact Attorney John O’Neal today.
There is a separate yet similar North Carolina statute that prohibits businesses from sending you unsolicited facsimile advertisements unless you have an established business relationship. Again, the damages are at the $500 to $1,000 to $5,000 schedule and you can also seek damages under the federal Junk Fax Prevention Act.
There are few attorneys actually located in North Carolina who have experience and knowledge regarding cases involving junk emails, faxes, phone calls, and text messages. These cases can involve many complicated legal issues. Who do you sue? How do you locate the appropriate defendants? If the correspondence is coming from another state, in what state(s) can you sue? Can you sue in federal or state court? Will you need to hire an expert witness? What are your damages?
Get These and More Questions Answered In Your Initial Consultation
If you are experiencing significant ongoing problems with junk emails, faxes and recorded messages, consult attorney John O’Neal of the O’Neal Law Office.