Many businesses know that calling the wrong party could mean trouble according to the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). In broad terms, the law forbids cell phone calls without the consent of the called party. This recent blog post sets up a potentially frightening scenario for businesses — an accidental call:
It is possible that a business may contact a changed or recycled phone number. According to the Wall Street Journal, as many as 37 million phone numbers are recycled each year by telephone companies. It is equally likely that a customer could accidentally input an incorrected single digit when providing his contact information. If that incorrectly inputted cellular telephone number turns out to be an actual phone number assigned to someone else, should that lead to expensive class action litigation for a business that otherwise has all the mechanisms in place to comply with the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA)? Common sense says no.
The post includes case details that explain the good faith defense in a TCPA lawsuit, which generally defines the belief that a business was contacting the party it intended to contact, not someone with the intended party’s old or recycled cell phone number. As the post explains, the defense is not bulletproof but still presents a strong argument for dismissal of a TCPA suit and, at a minimum, an argument against class certification.