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Ringless Voicemail

The phone never rings. But somehow you have a voicemail. It’s a business selling something, even though you’re on the Do Not Call list. Is that legal? Not in Florida as of July, Gov. Rick Scott signed SB 568, which expands the Do Not Call list to include direct-to-voicemail sales calls.

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What is a ringless voicemail and why did the Court rule that they are TCPA calls?

Ringless voicemail technology, generally speaking, allows callers to bypass calling a person’s cell phone number directly, and instead sends messages through to the voicemail service provider’s platform and, ultimately, to the subscriber.  The argument that the defendant posited in this action was that by allowing a voicemail to be delivered without ever having a person’s phone actually ring, such a form of contact could not be considered a call subject to the restrictions of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA).  We have previously advised clients that this argument would not likely be successful before courts or regulators.  The federal court in Florida and Michigan agreed.  It concluded that because the phone’s subscriber receives a notification that s/he has a voicemail message, the effect of the ringless voicemail is the same as if the phone had rang before the voicemail was delivered.  As a result, the Court found that ringless voicemails are calls for TCPA purposes and that the company which placed these messages may be held liable for such conduct.

Florida Ringless Voicemail Law

Florida’s law does not mean you will never receive a ringless voicemail if you are on the Do Not Call list, however. First, some scofflaw telemarketers ignore Do Not Call for all sorts of messages. They are often based in other countries or using fake or “spoofed” numbers, and they know it’s hard to police them in an age of global calling by way of the Internet. At best they are using questionable methods to steer leads to legitimate businesses. At worst they are outright scams trying to steal money or personal information.

But there’s also this: the law allows certain calls by schools, non-profit and charitable groups, or people taking surveys. Florida law says the Do Not Call restrictions do not apply to “a charitable or political organization that is seeking donations,” according to the Senate staff analysis.

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Florida Ringless Voicemail FAQ

What is Ringless Voicemail?

How does ringless voicemail work?

Is ringless voicemail Legal?

How do I report ringless voicemail?

How much can I receive per ringless voicemail violation?

How do you Stop Ringless Voicemail?

What is the telephone consumer protection act (TCPA)?

Are there ringless voicemail lawsuits?

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