In July, a federal judge ruled that political robocalls were protected by the First Amendment and therefore not subject to TCPA regulations. During campaign season, this can cause quite a bit of frustration and irritation as campaigns solicit donations or try to assess candidate support. Particularly if you know who you are voting for, these calls are a tremendous waste of time and can make even the most trusting of people feel anxious when an unknown number pops up on the caller ID.
Political robocalls are not illegal and live person calls made from political campaigns are not covered by the national Do Not Call Registry. So what can be done to make sure your phone isn’t blowing up with unwanted calls and texts from a political party? Not much, really.
There are some companies who offer political robocalls blocking for a fee. This is obviously not a good solution for everyone. Unfortunately, outside of this, there is little you can do to completely stop political robocalls. Many phones can be set to auto reject certain numbers – a feature that can be activated on a number-by-number basis as you receive political robocalls. But that requires answering the call in the first place and then going into your phone to block the number. This is, however, the most effective way currently available to block these annoying calls.
TCPA only applies to companies that are trying to sell something. It could be argued that political campaigns are, in fact, trying to sell something, but the FCC does not currently agree with that opinion. Nonetheless, if you are receiving harassing calls or continuing to receive calls after asking to no longer be contacted, you may be entitled to compensation. Be sure to document any communication you make with a political campaign requesting they stop contacting you. This will help our TCPA lawyers determine if you have cause to file suit.
If you are being harassed by illegal robocalls, please contact Markoff Leinberger online or by calling (877) 905-5161 to schedule a free consultation at our Chicago office.