Maginnis Howard attorneys are investigating reports that Legends United Insurance, a California-based insurance solicitor, is breaking consumer law. The company purports itself to be a convenient service for those seeking Medicare or Final Expense Quotes but is not connected with or endorsed by the government. It was started in June of 2020, and a branch opened in North Carolina the following year. The company has insurance licenses in Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia.
Telemarketing by Legends United Insurance Agency
Our investigation has received reports that Legends United Insurance is illegally utilizing Automatic Telephone Dialing Systems (ATDS) in the commission of calls.
Telemarketers using ATDS must have “prior express written consent” or PEWC. PEWC is a written agreement that authorizes a business to deliver telemarketing message with an autodialer. In signing up for a quote from the agency, the terms and conditions stipulate the a third company called Trusted Consumer Advisors, can freely use and sell your data. Trusted Consumer Advisors is owned and operated by the same staff. Customers who sign terms and conditions on the Legends United Insurance website are also granting the required PEWC for autodials.
But there have been reports from the Better Business Bureau and former employees who say they have been using ATDS to harass non-consenting consumers.
How are ATDS regulated?
The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) targets the activity of telemarketers who use harassing tactics to solicit consumers. The legislation is constantly evolving to keep up with emerging technologies, including the use of Automatic Telephone Dialing Systems (ATDS). As of 2021, the TCPA restricts calls and texts automatic services. Specifically, consumers must have consented to receiving telemarketing calls from ATDS beforehand. If a company is knowingly violating this stipulation, it could be breaking the law.
What’s the Difference between an ATDS and a Robocaller?
ATDS refers to the actual dialing software used in pursuit of consumers. ATDS are also commonly known as autodialers. Robocalls, however, are pre-recorded messages that play when a consumer answers the phone. If you decline the call, it’s likely the dialer will leave that message as a voicemail. Scammers and marketers will use these tools frequently as a cheap and efficient way to reach millions worldwide. Both are heavily restricted if not illegal.
Are Robocalls with Pre-recorded Messages Legal?
Some robocalls delivering pre-recorded messages are permissible. For example:
- Messages providing information such as appointment reminders or delayed flights.
- Calls from a company about a debt you owe. However, this does not apply to a third-party agency attempting to sell you a debt consolidation service.
- Political campaign messages. Candidates running for office may contact you without your explicit permission.
- Messages from healthcare providers or services, such as a pharmacy calling about prescription refills.
- Messages from charitable organizations.
Callers who are attempting to sell you something without your express permission, however, are breaking the law. Even if the sale does not take place on that specific interaction, solicitation is not permissible under the TCPA.
What Are the Penalties for TCPA Violations?
TCPA violations can cost solicitors a $500 penalty for the first violation. That fee doubles for the second infraction to $1,000 and $5,000 for the third.
What Should I Do If I’m Getting Illegal Calls from ATDS?
If you have been inundated with calls from an automatic telephone dialing system, the first step is to ask the company to stop calling. Should they continue to contact you after this notification, take note of any further communication and speak to a TCPA attorney.
Representation for TCPA Violations
Maginnis Howard has written extensively on the TCPA and continues to accept cases on the subject. To speak with an attorney, please call our office at (919) 526-0450 or submit an email request through our contact page.