FORT MYERS, Fla.- WINK News found you can sue telemarketers up to $1,500 per call.
According to the Telephone Consumers Protection Act or TCPA, it is illegal for a telemarketer to call a number registered on a 'do not call' list. However, WINK News talked to attorney Joseph LoTempio with Dellutri Law Group. LoTempio said companies often ignore that rule.
"A lot of companies already have procedures out there that are set in place, set in stone and very expensive to fix that regularly might violate the law. Rather than come up with some kind of internal fix to prevent those mistakes from happening, they elect to leave their procedures the way they are and just roll the dice that they’re not going to get sued a lot for it," LoTempio said.
First, make sure you are registered on the state's do not call list and the national do not call list. If you are still receiving calls 31 days after registering, you have the right to file a lawsuit against the telemarketer. LoTempio said depending on each lawsuit, you can make anywhere from $500 to $1,500 per call.
"Many people are probably experiencing the kinds of things you can sue for under these statues and don’t even know about it."
Before you sue, LoTempio said there are a few things to consider. The telemarketer must have called you at least twice within a 12 month period. You cannot sue someone you had an "existing business relationship" with, and you cannot sue non-profits. If you are considering file a lawsuit, LoTempio recommended you start keeping track of the calls you receive.
"I recommend you keep pen and paper evidence of all the phone calls."
He said you can file the lawsuit yourself, but it would require a significant amount of research. When LoTempio has handled cases similar to this, he would not charge an individual attorney fees, unless he wins the case.
WINK News contacted the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. We found since 2011, the state has fined telemarketers more than $450,000 for making illegal calls. The fine given to a company can range from $500 to $5,000. The numbers are decided on a variety of issues, including if the company is a repeat offender. The money collected by the state funds the 'Do Not Call' program.