Nuisance phone calls, or calls from telemarketers, can be very annoying and disruptive to your daily routine. Fortunately, there are certain steps you can take to limit their frequency. For example, you can:
Place your home, business, and cell phone numbers on the federal Do Not Call Registry by going to www.donotcall.gov or calling (888)382-1222. The registry was created by the government in 2003 to enable consumers to put an end to telemarketing calls. If you have your phone number placed on this list, you will stop receiving the majority of nuisance calls. The registry limits calls from any company that sells goods or services, but does not restrict calls made by political groups, charities, or those taking telephone surveys.
If telemarketers persist in calling you 31 days after you have placed your number on the Do Not Call Registry, request that telemarketers remove you from their call list. If they insist on calling, your next step is to file a formal complaint with the Federal Trade Commission by going to www.donotcall.gov. Provide them with the date you received the call, and the name of the company that phoned you; if you don’t know the name of the company, the phone number will suffice.
A recent Supreme Court decision now permits you to sue telemarketers and nuisance callers in federal court; thus, you can now sue in state and federal courts. The decision was made in a case against Arrow Financial Services LLC regarding nuisance phone calls about collection of a student loan debt for Sallie Mae. The plaintiff filed suit, alleging that Arrow was violating the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, a law that was enacted by Congress to forbid invasive telemarketing.
You may be eligible to join a class action lawsuit against Sallie Mae if you obtained a student loan from the lender before 2004, and if you were the recipient of a pre-recorded phone call to your cell phone on or after October 27, 2005, without previously granting your consent to receive such calls.
According to one plaintiff, he was harassed by dozens of such calls from Sallie Mae to his cell phone; he was even awakened at night, when he received calls that were just hours apart from each other. If you join the class action, you may be able to obtain an injunction, which is a court order that would require Sallie Mae to stop harassing its borrowers; you may also be entitled to monetary damages.
If you have been harassed by telemarketers or other nuisance callers, you should consult a criminal attorney.