Florida Governor Signs New Restrictions On Telemarketing Calls
Telemarketing calls are a nuisance for many consumers and businesses in Florida and throughout the United States. According to data cited by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), Americans receive an estimated 180 million unsolicited phone calls from telemarketing each day.
On June 29th, 2021, Florida Governor Ron Desantis signed SB 1120 into law—a bill that amends and expands state level protections against unwanted telemarketing calls. Here, our West Palm Beach deceptive & unfair trade practices lawyers provide an overview of the new Florida law.
Florida Mini TCPA: Explained
The revised Florida state law is modelled after the federal Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991 (TCPA). Indeed, the updated statute has been referred to as “Florida’s Mini TCPA.” Here are five of the most important things that consumers and business owners should know about the law:
- The Use of Autodialers is Restricted: The Florida Mini TCPA prohibits telemarketing calls using “automated dialing systems” without prior consent of the recipient.
- Consent Must Be in Writing: To satisfy the consent requirement of the Florida Mini TCPA, a company or organization using an autodialer must get prior approval in writing.
- Telemarketers Cannot Deliberately Hide Identity: The enhanced statute also bars telemarketers from using any type of technology to intentionally conceal their identity.
- Calling Period is One Hour Shorter: Previously, the legal calling period for a telemarketer in Florida was 8:00 AM to 9:00 PM. That window has now been shortened by one hour—calls can only be made between 8:00 AM and 8:00 PM.
- A Private Right of Action Now Exists in Florida: Perhaps most importantly, Florida Mini TCPA now includes a private right of action—similar to federal law. If your rights were violated under the law, you can sue the responsible party for your actual losses and an additional $500 in statutory damages.
When Telemarketing Becomes an FDUTPA Violation
Florida’s Mini Telephone Consumer Protection Act adds a layer of state-level protection against unwanted telemarketing calls. The state’s most important consumer protection statute—the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act (FDUTPA)—still applies as well.
If you or your business was contacted by a telemarketer and you suffered losses due to a “deceptive or unfair” commercial practice, you have a right to take legal action to recover financial compensation for the full extent of your damages.
In some cases, a plaintiff may have both a claim under the Florida Mini TCPA and the FDUTPA. As these are complicated legal claims, you should not hesitate to seek professional guidance and support.
Call Our FDUTPA Attorneys for Immediate Help With Your Case
At Pike & Lustig, LLP, our Florida deceptive & unfair trade practices lawyers provide reliable representation to clients. If you have any questions about Florida’s enhanced restrictions on telemarketing calls, we can help. Call us today to set up an appointment with an experienced attorney. With a main office in West Palm Beach and a secondary office in Miami, we fight for the rights of our clients throughout all of South Florida.