The Florida “Mini-TCPA”

Before you can understand the Florida mini-TCPA, you need to know its predecessor. The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) is a federal law. You may already be familiar with it without knowing what it is. It places limits and restrictions on any person or business that solicits customers by telephone. Here are three such limits:

  • Time Restrictions (8:00 am to 9:00 pm)
  • Robocalls
  • Do Not Call (DNC) Lists

It is imperative to note that the TCPA was signed into law by President Bush in 1991. The legislation deemed that “auto-dialers” were illegal. An auto-dialer either stored phone numbers and could call them at random intervals and times. 

The definition of an auto-dialer was challenged by Facebook. Were the computers the companies used considered “auto-dialers?” The descriptions and application of these machines were being used very broadly by judges. Ultimately, the Supreme Court narrowed the definition of an auto-dialer. 

Florida’s Response

When the Supreme Court narrowed the definition of an auto-dialer, it gave telemarketers more legal room to conduct business. However, Florida responded with its own mini-TCPA—which re-broadened it essentially. 

Under the Florida mini-TCPA, a telemarketing company must have “prior express written consent” to call someone. Furthermore, it breaks down what defines consent. The more you understand this law, the more you realize that the Florida mini-TCPA is more strict than the federal iteration of the TCPA.

Earlier, it was noted that calls had to fall between 8:00 am and 9:00 pm. Regardless of the time zone in Florida, calls cannot be sent or made after 8:00 pm. There is also a limit to how many times (3) a telemarketing company can call you within the same 24 hour period—if the call’s subject is the same.

Telemarketing companies should strongly consider speaking to an attorney to understand the law entirely. There are severe implications for violating the statute. Any business that does will expose itself to the possibility of civil litigation. This could be brought about through a single private party, or more likely, a class action lawsuit. 

Cove Law, P.A.

Understanding the new Florida legislation is paramount if you work in telemarketing, a call center, or customer service. The Florida mini-TCPA operates under the presumption that anyone with a Florida area code lives within Florida. If you have any further questions about how this law impacts your business specifically, contact the Cove Law for a free initial consultation. We have been serving the telemarketing industry for more than 25 years.

Andrew Cove
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