Without a landline phone, I don’t receive many calls from telemarketers. André-Tascha Lammé from Sacramento was having a problem with mortgage lenders, and decided to take care of the problem through the courts.
So far, Lammé has won $6,000 in judgments against telemarketers in three cases. He’s not a lawyer, but by filing in small claims court, he’s spent no more than $100 in court fees and scarcely more than an hour of his time on any case. Now he wants you to do it, too.
Each violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991, such as a call from a telemarketer after you’ve told the company not to call you, can fetch a penalty of $500, payable to the unlucky phone call recipient. And it turns out it’s not difficult to file these claims, although it might take a long time before one sees the payments.
The details are found on a website founded by Lammé: KillTheCalls.com. He provides detailed instructions for suing telemarketers as well as a call sheet which tells you exactly what to do when a telemarketer calls to fully take advantage of the law on the consumer’s side. Once you’re ready, this list of small claims courts across the country is a good starting point.
You could try adding your phone numbers to the National Do Not Call List to stop the calls before they occur. I’m not completely convinced that willingly providing your phone number to the government doesn’t put that information on an other list of valid phone numbers for political calls, which are exempt from the Telephone Consumer Protection Act.
Updated June 17, 2014 and originally published February 14, 2007. If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to the RSS feed or receive daily emails. Follow @ConsumerismComm on Twitter and visit our Facebook page for more updates.