If you’re like many people being spammed by auto-dialers and receiving text message spam, you’re wondering how to stop robocalls and reclaim your phone line.
Unfortunately, telemarketers are becoming bolder. They’re going after cell phones and costing consumers minutes, text message fees, and more.
So how can you stop unwanted telemarketing calls and robocalls?
How to Stop Robocalls
Millions of Americans are on the National Do Not Call Registry, but robocalling telemarketers still get through – they’re not paying any mind to the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, or TCPA. The TCPA forbids telemarketers to use artificial voices and recordings, and they’re not allowed to autodial consumers, either.
The bottom line is that you have the right to not be contacted by telephone solicitors. So how can you exercise that right, and what should you do if telemarketers keep calling you?
Written Consent for Your Cell Phone
Telemarketers aren’t allowed to call you on your cell phone unless you’ve given their company prior, written consent. (There are some exceptions, such as some types of nonprofit organizations.) Even if you’re not on the National Do Not Call Registry, they still can’t call your cell.
Setting Up Call Rejection
If you have a landline that’s getting robocalls, you can call your phone company and request that they reject calls from callers who have blocked their caller ID information. Telemarketers often block their caller ID information because they know you won’t pick up if you see that it’s a solicitation.
Several companies manufacture robocall-blocking devices that plug into your phone line and let you block numbers you don’t want calls from. They also allow you to set up a “whitelist” that includes numbers you will accept calls from. These only work on land lines, though. (And for the record, it’s ridiculous that consumers have to spend money on these types of devices just so they can be free from aggressive telemarketers.)
Hang Up, Ignore and Block the Calls
A mistake many people make is to answer a robocall and interact with it in any way. When the robocall voice tells you to “Press 1 to be placed on our do-not-call list,” or to press another number to talk to a live operator, you should simply hang up. If you interact with the call at all, you’re indicating to the company calling that your number works… and it could lead to more calls.
Once you ignore a call to your cellphone, you can block the number it came from. If you have an iPhone, tap the green phone icon, select “Recents,” and tap the blue “i” next to the number you wish to block. The last option on the screen is “Block This Caller.” If you have an Android phone, you can long-press the number you want to block, then press “Block Number” on the menu that pops up. You can also click “Settings,” then “Call Blocking,” and then tap “Add Number.” Then, you can input the number you want to block.
Cellphone Call-Blocking Apps
You can purchase call-screening apps on your cell phone. Again, though, it seems ridiculous to have to spend money because other people are infringing on your rights.
What Else Can You Do to Stop Robocalls?
It may be a good idea to get in touch with a telecommunications attorney who understands the laws regulating robocalls – and who can help you get financial compensation if you’re being harassed by telemarketers.
In some cases, you can sue telemarketers for violating the TCPA. Consumers are allowed to seek damages in the amount of $500 per illegal robocall; if the illegal robocalls were made willfully, you could be eligible to seek $1,500 per call.
If you’re thinking about suing a telemarketing company, make sure you keep detailed records of the calls you receive and the actions you’ve taken to prevent the calls.
Then, call us right away at 818-659-8331 or 800-774-4163 for a free consultation. We may be able to help you get the compensation you deserve.