How To Sue Robo-Callers
First, make sure your phone numbers are listed on the National Do Not Call Registry at www.donotcall.gov Second, if you are serious about making telemarketers give you money and buy you things, buy and study Doc Compton’s “Turning Robocalls into Cash” kit (“google” it), then search out and join social media groups like the one that can be found at www.robocalls.cash – including their Facebook groups. In these social media forums you will meet like-minded people who will share tips and information with you. These are excellent resources.
Go read everything at www.robocalls.cash before you read the rest of this page. Come back here when done.
You will generally make more money suing telemarketers with an attorney, than you will by writing demand letters to them on your own without an attorney. But you are not ready to consult with an attorney about prosecuting telemarketers for you, for even more money, until you have done some basic due diligence on your own to understand what this involves. What does this basic due diligence consist of? See the paragraphs above about how to learn the main tips and tricks.
Know which calls to you are illegal
Calls from companies you have an established business relationship with, are not illegal phone calls even if auto-dialers and pre-recorded messages are used. There are a few other limited exceptions, such as calls made for charities and political campaigns. But other than these few exceptions it is flatly illegal for someone to call your cell phone using an “auto-dialer”. It is also a flatly illegal phone call if you answer your phone only to be greeted by a pre-recorded message.
It is illegal to make telephone solicitations to phone numbers that are listed on the National Do Not Call Registry. It is also illegal for telemarketers to fail or refuse to promptly, truthfully disclose who they are calling for, during the telemarketing call itself.
Understand that the Telephone Consumer Protection Act states the fine the telemarketer owes you is $500 to $1500 PER VIOLATION of the statute. The fine is applied for each VIOLATION, not each “call”. There are usually multiple violations of the statute in each telemarketing call you answer. So if you are going to sue a telemarketer, you need to pay attention to what you heard when you answered the call. Who did the caller say the sponsor of the call was? What product or service did the caller try to interest you in? You want to be able to describe multiple violations of the statute in each call.
Telephone solicitations that leave voice-mail messages are violations of the statutes. A text message counts as a phone call too. Even telemarketing calls you don’t answer count as “calls” that violate the statute – in other words you can charge a telemarketer $500-$1500 even for their calls you did not answer. If you are fed up with telemarketing calls you have probably had the experience of seeing the same phone number appear on your Caller ID, that you know is from a telemarketer, so you don’t answer. If you are going to try to identify one of these callers so you can sue, you want to try to document even the calls you didn’t answer so you can make them PAY YOU EVEN MORE MONEY.
Identify the business that is responsible for the call
How can you sue someone if you can’t identify or locate them?
The most difficult part of suing a telemarketer is accurately identifying and locating them. Generally the first live telemarketer you will be on the phone with is someone at the call-center that is directly responsible for the call. These people will only lie about who they are and where they are. They are trained as part of their job to systematically LIE. If they actually TELL THE TRUTH about who their employer is, they will be fired. They will never, ever tell you the truth about who they are and, if you start asking too many questions or the wrong questions they will just hang up the phone on you. But if you indulge them by politely listening to their stupid little scripted sales pitch, and don’t make them suspicious enough to hang up the phone on you, you can very often get transferred to the actual business that hired them to harass you. There are a variety of ways to get the actual business to accurately identify themselves. After all, since you were transferred to them they think they might actually be rewarded for their illegal conduct by talking you out of some money to buy something.
Getting the business you were transferred to, to then send you an email is a good way to identify the parties responsible for illegally harassing you but receipt of an email isn’t absolutely necessary. Sometimes you can identify the business that is using illegal telemarketing by just talking to the sales-staff enough and taking notes about what they say. Then with adequate research they can be identified. Maybe they were selling a unique product or wanted you to look at a specific website. See if they will agree to call you back at some later date and time then wait to be called by someone at their real, in-house phone number – not the number their third-party telemarketers used. Make notes of phone numbers used for telemarketing calls: subpoenas can uncover who phone numbers are truly assigned to.
The best, easiest way to identify the companies responsible for harassing you with robocalls is to just buy the product or services being peddled in the calls – such as auto warranties, inexpensive vacation packages, some type of insurance, hearing aids or other health-care devices, etc. If the product or service offered doesn’t cost that much, consider just buying it. When the product or service you bought arrives you will then have ample evidence of who sent it.
Another fun way to identify the parties responsible for the use of illegal telemarketing, is if the telemarketer wants you to agree to meet with one of their “local representatives” or “local contractors”, like to sell you solar panels, a time-share or a home security system for example, or some other crap you never asked to receive calls about. If the only way to identify them is to let the telemarketer arrange a meetup, why not schedule one? You can bet the local business that is using illegal telemarketing will call you or try to visit your home. Or if you were invited to an in-person sales presentation or seminar or something, go ahead and pay them a visit. The actual business using illegal telemarketing will then be easily, accurately identified.
Target particular callers and document your evidence
Target particular callers that you believe have called you repeatedly and focus on identifying them or who they are calling for. How do you know the same callers have called repeatedly? Because the Caller ID number was always the same or similar for their calls, or you heard the same sales pitch in all their calls you answered.
After targeting a particular caller you think you have a good chance of identifying, keep basic notes about the calls listing the dates and times of the calls, who the caller said they were if you answered, and the Caller ID number the calls caused your phone to display. Call these Caller ID numbers back and make brief notes about what happened when you did. Was it a “spoofed” number or could you actually reach a call-center or telemarketer when you called back ?
Figure out if all the phone calls you answer show up on your phone bill. If the phone call is documented on your phone bill statement, very good. Most smart-phones have call logs that show the date and time of even missed calls including the number that showed up on your Caller ID. You can screen-shot and save these call logs. These photos are excellent evidence.
If you are fed up with commercial activity that invades even your home and private life uninvited, such as junk emails and telemarketers who ignore the Do-Not-Call Registry then lie to you about who they are, contact Santa Fe Attorney Sid Childress at email@example.com to schedule a consultation. I SUE TELEMARKETERS