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Plaintiff files a lawsuit against a car dealership for violating telemarketing laws

Sep 23, 2019
Shamis & Gentile, P.A.
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A class action lawsuit accuses a car dealership in Maryland of violating the Telephone Consumer Protection Act by sending pre-recorded messages without the receivers’ consent.

Pre-recorded messsages vs. TCPA

The congress enacted the TCPA in 1991 to address the growing number of telemarketing calls. The act restricts common carriers as well as other marketers from making telemarketing calls and using automatic telephone dialing systems and pre-recorded voice messages. Further in 1992, the commission adopted certain rules to implement the TCPA, including the requirement to maintain company-specific do-not-call lists. However, consumers across the globe still continue to have their privacy violated by unwanted telemarketing practices.

Car Dealership Violates TCPA Law

Plaintiff Christi Burchett is one such consumer who felt an invasion into her space when she received a pre-recorded messages from Bob Bell Hyundai, a car dealership in Glen Bernie, Md., despite the fact that she had not given them any permission for the latter. She has filed a TCPA class action lawsuit and says that that many other individuals have also received unwanted calls and messages by Bob Bell Hyundai. This common practice of the car dealership, says Christi, is an act of invasion that restricts consumers of their freedom.

The pre-recorded messages told Burchett that she had an opportunity to upgrade her automobile for a “really aggressive offer” if she exchanged her vehicle for a newer model. Moreover, the message claimed that there were many people in the market who wanted transition vehicles and the demand for vehicles like hers was much higher than it had been in the past few months. The sole aim of the message was to gather more customers. The agenda was to first make the listener feel that his/her automobile had the potential to be worked upon and improved  to a beyond satisfactory extent and since the automobile was so ‘special’, the consumer would get a great deal if willing to trade it in for a new model. These marketing mimics really annoy consumers and create a very negative picture in their minds.

Having heard the message, it was very easy for her to realize that it was a recorded one. The main purpose of the message was to inspire and encourage her to do business with the car dealership. But the fact remains that the dealership sent her the pre-recorded messages without her consent, thus violating the TCPA. While a number of consumers continue to face this violation of their privacy, only a few raise their voice against it, the Maryland plaintiff being one such inspiring case where Christi Burchett decided to seek damages on her behalf and all those affected by the unwanted calls Bob Bell Hyundai made. Thinking about the growth and expansion of an organization without respecting the privacy of consumers is not only an act of invasion, but also conveys a very selfish and negative image about the company.

According to the TCPA, in order to make telemarketing phone calls, send messages and carry out other such activities, one must have the recipients’ consent. If calls are made to consumers who are in the do-not-call lists or have not given their consent, it is further inferred as a violation of the act.

Burchett faced a lot of inconvenience as she received the pre-recorded messages on a work day which hampered her work. Moreover, she also has witnessed a number of people being affected and injured by the unwanted calls made by the dealership as it violates their privacy and is an intrusion into their personal space. She is seeking damages for herself and for all those facing similar issues.

Pre-Recorded Messages Class Action Lawsuit

Stressing on the fact that she and all others receive these phone calls even though they have not given their consent, consumers face a threat to their basic moral rights. The right to freedom and right to privacy is a demanded necessity which must be gracefully granted to every being.

TCPA violation is a growing concern and dealers and all sorts of businesses need to realize the importance of abiding by the act. Contacting potential customers and encouraging them to do business is the basic requirement of every organization, but in order to grow in a fruitful manner, every consumer’s privacy must be respected and valued.  Brand promotion is very essential to develop and influentially increase brand identity, but if not carried out in the right manner, negativity can spread faster leading to a bad image. It’s the consumers who actually help you grow and if they are the people who are going to be troubled, the outcome will not be as expected.

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