We have all experienced the frustration: The phone rings. The number on the caller ID doesn’t look familiar, but you answer anyway, and after the short pause the pre-recorded, automated voice begins trying to sell you something you neither want or need.
You have been robo-called. This is an extremely frustrating experience for the one answering the call, and in many cases, it is illegal.
What Are Robo-Calls?
Robo-calls are the automated calls that companies send to people. They are sales calls, but instead of talking to a real-life salesperson, you have to listen to a pre-recorded voice trying to sell you something. In some cases the message is a simple sales message, other times the message tries to glean personal information from you or scare you into action through dubious or false information.
All of these calls are problematic, and many of them are illegal.
Many Robo-Calls Are Illegal
There are federal laws and California laws regulated automated telemarketing calls. Really, any solicitation to residences using an artificial voice or to cell phones using artificial or pre-recorded voice are illegal under federal law. Further, federal law mandates that companies using pre-recorded sales calls need to maintain and honor a “do-not-call” list.
In California, an actual human being must come on the line to identify the nature of the call, and the person answering must consent to the recording being played.
Under these rules, it seems that almost all instances of robo-calls are illegal.
You Don’t Need to Take it Lying Down
Most people just accept robo-calls as part of life. They feel like there is no recourse they can take to make these calls stop.
But you do have rights. If you have been harassed by repeated robo-calls, you should talk with an attorney right away. Attorney Todd M. Friedman in California has a wealth of experience handling consumer rights issues, including robo-calls and other forms of telemarketer harassment.
In most cases, a company violated the rules around robo-calling do not limit their activity to a small number of people. If you are experiencing robo-calls, chances are good that the same company is violating the rights of many others, too.
By talking to an experienced attorney, you could end up being part of a major class-action claim to obtain compensation for the violations.
If you have been harassed by robo-calls, fight back.