Misconceptions About Telemarketers

One of the most common misconceptions surrounding telemarketers is that the marketers who get sued are either overly aggressive or conduct business illegitimately. We encourage people both in the industry and outside of it to consider a different perspective. It is one that we have adopted after serving telemarketing clients for more than 25 years. Telemarketing is a field that is highly regulated. Simply put, it is very easy to violate the law without ever having intended to. 

One of the biggest challenges that telemarketers face is keeping pace with myriad laws and regulations that evolve as quickly as the technology does. The way we define and use technology changes too. 

During the Facebook, Inc. v. Duguid case before the Supreme Court last year, Facebook challenged how we define automated telephone dialing systems. Until that case finally forced the issue, many courts used a relatively broad definition, and arguably made marketers susceptible to far more liability than Congress ever intended when it originally passed the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). Before the case, this meant an autodialer included systems which:

  • Had the ability to store phone numbers; or 
  • Produced phone numbers at random using a number generator; and 
  • Could then dial those numbers

In Facebook, the Supreme Court overruled the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and eliminated the first bullet point, and thereby narrowed that definition substantially. This is just one example of how nuanced and challenging it is to stay abreast of current laws. If you were a telemarketer before that case, you may not have even realized how easy it was for your software to be viewed as an autodialer. Yet even after Facebook, it is easy to be subjected to a suit without realizing you are violating the law. 

If these laws create challenges for seasoned telemarketing professionals, imagine the difficulties a new business faces. Small telemarketing companies often want to grow their businesses by purchasing leads from third-party vendors. As well-intentioned as these new telemarketing companies may be, they may be putting a significant amount of trust in their vendors: 

  • Is all the information current and accurate?
  • Has every lead given their legally-compliant permission to be contacted?
  • Did the vendor randomly add phone numbers to make a list appear more robust?

Although a new company may not be deliberately trying to skirt the law, they may be taking on a significant risk. Fines associated with TCPA violations can be steep – up to $1500 per violation, and there may be multiple violations per call. With as many calls as these companies often make, TCPA claims often result in class action lawsuits for millions of dollars in claimed damages. 

Cove Law Has Been Serving the Telemarketing Industry for Over 25 Years

At Cove Law, we proudly defend telemarketers subject to individual and class action TCPA claims. If you have been accused of violating the TCPA, contact Cove Law, P.A., to schedule a free initial consultation.

Andrew Cove
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