Flitter Lorenz, PC: Federal Appellate Court Reverses Decision, Cites TCPA
Consumers do not have to accept unwanted cell phone calls from a business just because they gave prior consent to that business, according to a court ruling made Thursday.
The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) protects consumers from receiving unwanted cell phone calls, including automated dialing systems and artificial or pre-recorded voice messages. The TCPA protects the more than 90 percent* of U.S. adults who own cell phones. Thursday’s decision, issued by the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, rules that the TCPA allows consumers to revoke consent to be called or texted on their cell phones, even after initial consent.
Philadelphia attorney Cary Flitter of Flitter Lorenz argued the appeal of Ashley Gager v. Dell Financial Services, LLC (Gager v Dell Fin Serv., LLC, No 12-2823, 3rd Cir., Aug 22, 2013) in the federal appellate court. Gager financed a computer through Dell Financial Services, but became delinquent on payments after she became pregnant, was prescribed bed rest and left her job. The Pennsylvania woman received incessant collection calls on her cell phone from Dell Financial. Despite writing a letter to end the calls, the harassment continued.
Citing the TCPA, which provides strong remedies in favor of consumers for violations of the law (a minimum $500 penalty per illegal call to cell phone), Gager sued Dell Financial. The original case was dismissed by the lower court, which ruled once the consumer provides consent to be called, that consent may never be revoked.
“Today’s decision is an important holding for the millions of consumers who are hounded by unwanted calls and texts to their cell phones. Everyone should have the right to control incoming cell calls and texts,” Flitter stated. “We are pleased with this ruling, and will continue to help consumers understand their right to be free from unwanted calls and text messages to their cell phones.”
About Flitter Lorenz, PC: Flitter Lorenz is a Philadelphia-area law firm specializing in consumer protection claims in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. For over 30 years, the attorneys of Flitter Lorenz have provided advocacy for consumers in the areas of debt collection, credit reporting, and unwanted calls and texts. To learn more about Flitter Lorenz, visit www.stopunwantedcalls.com.
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