Tag Archives: Telephone Consumer Protection Act

Texting Advertisements or Employment Offers May Violate TCPA

By: Sheila Raftery Wiggins

Potential drivers filed a class action suit against a well-known ride hailing firm in federal court (N.D. Ill.) alleging that text messages sent to potential drivers violate the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”). A sample text states: “You’re invited to drive [insert name]. No schedule. No boss. Sign up now and get a $500 bonus,” according to the recently-filed complaint. The case seeks $500 or $1,500 in damages for each text message which violates the TCPA.

Similar claims have been filed against this ride hailing firm in other federal courts, including in California. The firm has had some success defeating similar cases.

Generally, text message advertising services require “prior express written consent” from recipients, and employment solicitations require “express consent” which need not be in writing.

LESSON: A text campaign for employment should explicitly state that it is an employment solicitation.

Sheila Raftery Wiggins, of the Newark office, handles matters involving complex commercial disputes, insurance defense, coverage disputes, financial fraud, and attorney ethics.

FCC Seeks Comments on Law Governing Automated Calls to Your Customers

By: Sheila Raftery Wiggins

Companies make automated calls to customers who owe money. These calls are governed by a federal statute, the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”). When a company violates the TCPA, the damages are calculated for each call.  That can be costly.  Due by June 6, 2016, the FCC seeks comments about changing the scope of the TCPA, including:

  1. “solely to collect a debt” – The FCC proposes to interpret “solely to collect a debt” to mean only those calls made to obtain payment after the borrower is delinquent on a payment.  The FCC also seeks comments regarding who may be called in order to ensure that a debtor’s family and friends are not subjected to non-consent robocalls seeking information about the debtor.
  2. “debt servicing calls” – The FCC proposes that servicing calls are included in the covered calls and that covered calls begin when a borrower is delinquent on a payment.
  3. consumer’s ability to stop covered calls – The FCC proposes that the stop-calling requests should apply to a subsequent collector of the same debt.
  4. residential lines – Robocalls to residential lines for debt collection are not subject to the prior express consent requirement.  The FCC seeks comments regarding revising this rule.

Consider: (1) your business and industry practices and (2) the courts’ rulings are very different in the different jurisdictions. This is a great opportunity to provide comments to the FCC.

Sheila Raftery Wiggins, of the Newark office, handles matters involving complex commercial disputes, insurance defense, coverage disputes, financial fraud, and attorney ethics.