Nearly every bulk text (SMS) message sent to a cellular phone in the United States violates federal law – specifically, the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”), 47 U.S.C. § 227. Enacted in 1991 primarily to constrain the growing scourge of invasive telemarketing calls, the TCPA has more recently been applied to cases of mass marketing, or “spam,” SMS text messages. In 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court confirmed that such unsolicited text messages fall within the TCPA’s prohibitions on automatic telephone dialer calls. Yet bulk text messages remain a commonplace nuisance for most people who rely on cellular phones.
The TCPA provides serious remedies to consumers who receive bulk text messages without their consent: $500 per message, or $1,500 per message for willful violations of the TCPA. These penalties quickly add up given the often repetitive nature of spam text messages.
The TCPA and its penalty provisions were designed to encourage consumers and consumer lawyers to act as “private attorneys general,” effectively assisting the Federal Communications Commission to enforce limitations on telephone system abusers. If you receive unsolicited bulk text messages, do not just delete them. Westbrook Law PLLC can assist you to determine whether the law has been broken, enforce the law and, in the process, pursue a monetary recovery for you under the TCPA.
Contact us to arrange a free consultation.