DUI arrests don't always lead to convictions in court. Police officer mistakes, faulty breathalyzers and crime lab errors may get your charges reduced or dismissed. Visit our California DUI page to learn more.
Customer Threatens Telemarketer – Can I get in trouble?
With so many telemarketers ignoring the Federal Trade Commission’s National Do Not Call Registry, many people have begun taking matters into their own hands. Techniques we have seen touted on the internet include:
Deliberately wasting the telemarketer’s time,
Blowing a whistle or air horn into the phone,
Threatening the telemarketer, and
Talking dirty to the telemarketer.
But are these techniques legal?
Telemarketers threaten to sue
Recently, some telemarketers have begun fighting back by telling people they can be sued for doing these things. For the most part, they are wrong.
However, harming or threatening to physically harm a telemarketer is another story—even if you cannot actually carry out the threat. Threatening a telemarketer could subject you to criminal penalties. Examples of state laws against making threats over the phone include:
A better way to fight unwanted telemarketing calls might be to sue telemarketers who violate the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). The TCPA provides remedies of $500 per violation for, among other things:
calling residential telephone subscribers before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m.,
failing to identify themselves, or
the use of prerecorded or artificial voice message calls to residences.
The judge may also award you treble (triple) damages if the company intentionally tries to block your right not to receive these calls.
So the next time a telemarketer tells you she can sue you, tell her you can sue her. Now that’s what we call talking dirty to a telemarketer!
About the Author
A former Los Angeles prosecutor, attorney Neil Shouse graduated with honors from UC Berkeley and Harvard Law School (and completed additional graduate studies at MIT). He has been featured on CNN, Good Morning America, Dr Phil, The Today Show and Court TV. Mr Shouse has been recognized by the National Trial Lawyers as one of the Top 100 Criminal and Top 100 Civil Attorneys.