A man who states that he has never had a student loan reports that student loan provider Sallie Mae placed an estimated 200 autodialed/robocall collection calls to his cell phone during the first several months of 2013. He adds that Sallie Mae continued making the calls after he convinced a Sallie Mae representative that he did owe any student loan payments.
Aside from the annoyance factor, the consumer had a 200-minute per month limit on his pre-paid cell phone plan. The calls pushed the man’s cell phone usage above the monthly 200-minute limit on his calling plan. The man reports as well that the calls only stopped after he filed a federal lawsuit against Sallie Mae.
An “autodialer” is as the name suggests an automated telephone system. A robocall is essentially any call initiated in which you initially find anything other than a live human on the other end. A “robocall” then is initiated from an “autodialer”.
The federal government’s response to autodialer and/or robocall calls has included enacting the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). Some the the relevant provisions of the TCPA’s provisions include (1) placing telemarketing and debt-collection calls without an individual’s consent, (2) using autodialers, and (3) placing robocalls. Each call that violates these restrictions potentially subjects the company or individual that is responsible for the call to a $1,500 fine.
Anyone who has received unsolicited and unwanted telemarketing or debt collection calls to a landline or cell phone may qualify for a class action lawsuit based on that activity. Your right to participate in that lawsuit may not depend on whether the caller used an autodialer or placed robocalls.
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